Cinco de Mayo Parade in Little Village canceled after reports of gunfire, police say

The Cinco de Mayo Parade in Little Village was canceled Sunday after the Chicago Fire Department responded to reports of shots fired along the parade route.

The Chicago Fire Department responded to Cermak Road and Washtenaw Avenue but did not transport anyone from the scene, officials said. The Chicago Police Department announced at 1:30 p.m. that the parade had been canceled.

Officials had first planned to reroute the parade down Damen Avenue but later said the parade was canceled out of an “abundance of caution.”

“The Cinco de Mayo Parade has been canceled to protect the safety of all in attendance, including families and children,” police said.

In a statement, police said the decision was made by the department’s Ogden District (10th), elected officials and parade organizers. Gang violence in the area Sunday led to multiple arrests, including gun arrests, according to police.

Later in the afternoon, two “Road closed” signs flanked Damen Avenue by Cermak Road. Farther down Cermak, blue police barricades had been moved to rest against walls on the sidewalk near the intersection with Wolcott Avenue.

Outside a Walgreens, Mexican native and longtime Little Village resident Francisco Gonzalez manned an elote stand. A woman approached to buy watermelon-flavored shaved ice. Four Mexican flags fluttered in the wind; he had hoped to sell them during the parade.

“No one could buy them because everyone got scared,” he said in Spanish. “Next year, who knows what will happen?”

The parade wasn’t held from 2018 to 2021 because of disagreements between organizers and the 12th Ward alderman. It was also canceled in 2022 because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the organizer’s office.