Mexican Independence Day Festival celebrated at Penn’s Landing


Tomas Flores runs the Champions LowRiders Club and builds lowrider bicycles in his spare time.

Unlike the typical bikes you see cyclists riding around town with, these are fully chromed-out and more closely resemble works of art than vehicles.

Lowrider bikes were on display at the Mexican Independence Day Festival, built by the members of the Champions Lowrider Organization based in Philadelphia. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

“When I come [sic] to this country, I saw the first bike in Norristown, Pa., but the thing, when I saw the bikes, the guy who drove the bikes, it was a gangster guy, so I don’t want people to think I was a gangster too, so I decided to not buy it,” Flores said.

He eventually bought his first lowrider in 2015 and started riding it around his neighborhood in 2020. People reached out to him wanting to buy one from him, and that’s where the idea for starting a business came from.

Lowrider bikes were on display at the Mexican Independence Day Festival, built by the members of the Champions Lowrider Organization based in Philadelphia. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

“The foundation for the club: Faith, family, and culture,” Flores said. “When we do events, we always promote the family because we want the family to come together with this movement.”

People often confuse Mexican Independence Day with Cinco de Mayo, and according to MCC President Guenther there’s a huge difference between the two.

“Cinco de Mayo celebrates a very specific war, which is the war we had with the French, and that’s called in Spanish, Batalla de Puebla,” Guenther said.

Thousands packed Penn’s Landing to celebrate their heritage at the Mexican Independence Day Festival on Sep. 18, 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Mexican Independence Day celebrates the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores, a speech and battle cry uttered by Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810 that inspired the movement that ultimately freed Mexico from Spanish rule.

Sunday’s event was a part of the PECO Multicultural Series.



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