SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Many confuse Mexican Independence Day with Cinco de Mayo but the country's actual independence day is Sept. 16.
Celebrations in Mexico and the U.S. traditionally start on Sept. 15.
More than 10 community events are planned throughout the Bay Area to celebrate Mexican Independence.
Thursday, San Francisco and San Jose commemorate Mexico's freedom from Spain in 1810.
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"With the entertainment and the mariachis and the ballet Folklorico and other dancers, it should be a grand occasion," said Richard Ybarra, CEO of Mission Neighborhood Centers.
The organization is involved in the event, put on by the Consulate of Mexico of San Francisco, city and county of San Francisco and community partners.
"It's important because of the Mexican history of this state," Ybarra said. "It's important because of the population of our state."
"El Grito" cry is a big part of Mexican Independence Day festivities.
"The cry for independence that is given on Sept. 15 in the evening," Ybarra said. "Consul General Remedios Gomez Arnau will give the 'grito' at that time. At the same time, it'll be done in Mexico City and all over the world wherever there are Mexican Consulates."
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Arnau will give the traditional "Cry for Independence" and Mayor London Breed will be a guest of honor.
The cry is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday at Civic Center Plaza at San Francisco's City Hall. The event goes on from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The first 200 people will get a free taco.
San Jose City Hall is observing "El Grito" Thursday at 4 p.m. as well. There will be food and activities.
Saturday, in San Jose, there will be a celebration of the independence of various countries at Regional Medical Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The office of the Consulate of Mexico in San Francisco said it will be lighting city hall in the colors of the Mexican flag Friday night.
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