Mérida, Yucatán — While the public is celebrating Independence Day, around 1,000 officers from the state Ministry of Public Security (SSP) will be watching closely.
It promises to be a big night. This year, El Grito falls on a Saturday, and also coincides with a huge boxing match on television, so sports bars and cantinas will be packed and offering drink specials for both occasions.
The Plaza Grande will be packed with revelers, all of whom will have passed through one of nine security points that will check for contraband.
Although scattered showers are predicted during the day, skies should be clear for El Grito, according to Meteoroligía Yucatán.
Around the city, about 60 breathalyser checkpoints will be set up to crack down on drunk drivers.
Traffic will be affected beginning 6 p.m. Friday when police begin closing some streets surrounding the Plaza Grande while workers erect platforms for musical groups Sonora Dinamita, Matute and Sonora Santanera.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, more road closures at Calle 62 and 57, Calle 63 and 66, Calle 60 and 65 and Calle 61 at 58 will create a car-free perimeter around the main square.
At the Plaza Grande, police are checking for more than conventional guns. The SSP indicated that access will not be allowed to anyone carrying anything that could be construed as a weapon, including stones and blades. People attempting to enter the grounds with menacing objects will be detained.
Throughout town, private parties are expected not only for the Grito de Independencia but also a much-anticipated televised boxing rematch between bitter Saúl “El Canelo” Álvarez,” who is from Mexico, and his Kazakhstani rival, Gennady Golovkin.
The Associated Press calls the Las Vegas match “must-see TV” and viewers around the world are expected to pay hefty pay-per-view fees to watch. In the U.S., it will cost $85 to access the fight.
The build-up to the middleweight match is significant. When Golovkin and Alvarez step into the ring, they will try to settle a match that ended in a draw a year ago.
And the fight was delayed in May after Alvarez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.