Father Hidalgo issued Mexico’s cry of independence Sept. 16, 1825. Now El Presidente de Mexico starts the celebration by ringing the bell on Sept. 15 at 11 p.m. The United States follows suit with Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Minnesotans need only to visit the District Del Sol on St. Paul’s west side, Eat Street or Nicollet Mall on Mexico’s day of independence to enjoy the spirit. Here are five ways to celebrate independence and to imbue yourself in the culture of Mexico in Minnesota.

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

Boca Chica
11 Cesar Chavez St.
St. Paul, MN 55107
(651) 222-8499

What better way to celebrate the eve of Independence Day than by dining at the oldest Mexican restaurant in the Twin Cities. Since 1964, Boca Chica has been a part of the West St. Paul Hispanic community. The owners honor their heritage from Sunday evening of Sept. 15 throughout the following Monday evening by inviting a special host to ring the bell and recount Hidalgo’s Grito de Delores. (Delores was the town where Hidalgo lived.) It was a call to arms that started a decade-long struggle finally culminating in Mexican independence from Spain. Be a part of this event that is most important to every true Mexican by remembering this cry for independence. Celebrate with live mariachi and complimentary cake.

Related: Best Of MN: Mexican Restaurant

Pancho Villa Mexican Restaurant
2539 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 871-7014

Go to Eat Street for tacos at Pancho Villa Mexican Restaurant. This spot will celebrate independence on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with special foods, two-for-one drinks, mariachi and karaoke. Cheer for Mexico’s boxing star, Canelo Alvarez, as he takes on Floyd Mayweather, televised live from Las Vegas Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013.

Related: Best Tacos In The Twin Cities

Barrio Tequila Bar
925 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 333-9953

Right off of 10th Street on Nicollet, you will discover the latest innovations in Mexican food plus 100 varieties of tequila drinks. Celebrate Independence Day with tacos for $3, Barrio margaritas for $5 or palomas for $5 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday Sept. 16. Barrio makes its paloma with genuine Mexican Jarritos grapefruit. While you are there, dine on diver scallop ceviche, tequila-cured salmon or ahi tuna with quinoa.

Related: Best Mexican Cuisine

El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St.
St. Paul, MN 55107
(651) 227-2192

Stop by the market as early as 7 a.m. for a huge breakfast burrito and sweet Mexican bread. Stop by at lunchtime for a to-go tamale and salsa bar. While you are there, pick up a piñata and all your cooking needs for a Mexican party.

fajitas - thinkstock
Dia De Los Muertos: Day of the Dead
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 259-3000

The ninth month of the Aztec calendar was time for friends and family to gather and honor and pray for the deceased. This rich tradition, dating as far back as three thousand years, is observed in Mexico but has spread around the world including Mexican-American communities in the U.S. Dia de Los Muertos family day at The History Center’s includes music, dancing, games, food samples, crafts and storytelling. Local students designed Ofrendas and local artists created a special altar on display at the History Center Oct. 26 through Nov. 2.

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.