EAST LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Heritage and history were celebrated Sunday at the 73nd annual Mexican Independence Day Parade in East Los Angeles.

The streets were filled as thousands turned out to watch.

CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Joy Benedict said music filled the air.

“I think it’s pretty good,” said one young attendee — her first festival and parade.

“This is a tradition I have every year with my family,” said one woman. “So it’s just very nice to be here.”

Mexican Independence Day was established Sept. 16, 1810. On that day, Mexicans were told to rise up against the Spanish ruling class.

Today, Angelenos honored that fighting spirit which helped found the City of Angels, first occupied by Spain and then Mexico. This area didn’t become part of the United States until 1848.

The parade’s theme this year was “Encounter of Two Worlds,” a celebration of Mexico’s indigenous languages.

“I think everyone should be connected to all the parts of our culture,” said another parade goer, “because it’s really beautiful.”

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