Moreno Valley celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexican Independence Day at the city’s new Civic Center Amphitheater on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

First proclaimed as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and expanded to a full month in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. It starts a day before Sept. 16, the anniversary of Mexico’s 1810 declaration of independence from Spain.

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    Darla Batz, left, 12, dances to the La Raspa with Jared Bonilla, 10, on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, as they celebrate El Grito de Independencia on the eve of Mexican Independence Day at Civic Center Amphitheater in Moreno Valley. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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    Darla Batz, 12, dances on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, as she celebrates El Grito de Independencia at Civic Center Amphitheater in Moreno Valley. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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    Jaime Campos, 12, left, from Riverside, dances with his older sister Kenya, 13, on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, as they celebrate El Grito de Independencia on the eve of Mexican Independence Day at Civic Center Amphitheater in Moreno Valley. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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    Alegria Mexicana celebrate El Grito de Independencia on the eve of Mexican Independence Day at Civic Center Amphitheater in Moreno Valley on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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    Darla Batz, 12, right, dances to the La Raspa with Jared Bonilla, 10, on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, as they celebrate El Grito de Independencia on the eve of Mexican Independence Day at Civic Center Amphitheater in Moreno Valley. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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    Gunner Selegue, 2, of Moreno Valley, dances to the music on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, as his mother Magdalena enjoys the moment during the celebration of El Grito de Independencia at Civic Center Amphitheater in Moreno Valley. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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    Alegria Mexicana dance on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, as they celebrate El Grito de Independencia on the eve of Mexican Independence Day at Civic Center Amphitheater in Moreno Valley. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

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Wednesday evening’s celebration in Moreno Valley included a reenactment of “El Grito de Dolores,” when Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang his church bell — the call to arms that kicked off the war of independence in Mexico.

Each year, El Grito is commemorated by the Mexican president, who reenacts the cry on the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City, ringing Hidalgo’s bell. Wednesday’s ceremony in Moreno Valley included a live feed of the event broadcast from Mexico City.

Moreno Valley’s 600-seat amphitheater opened in June and is the focal point of a 7-acre park.

More than 58% of Moreno Valley residents identify as Latino or Hispanic, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.