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Mexico's Light Shines Bright in Norwalk

NORWALK, Conn. – Edgar Jimenez took an athletic jaunt Saturday morning, holding one arm in the air as he ran with 23 other members of his community to mark an important occasion.

Jimenez carried the Flame of Guadalupe "half the way" from the Doubletree Hotel to St. Joseph Parish. "He has to carry that because we're celebrating something for the church," said his daughter, Floro, 8.

Members of Grupo Guadalupano were celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe , who is honored throughout Mexico on Dec. 12. "We have a special flame with our group," said Edgar Mora, president of Grupo Guadalupano. "This flame traveled all the way from Mexico City to St. Patrick's Church in New York. We went to upstate New York to grab the flame and bring it to our town."

The flame also goes to upstate Connecticut. "We do that to keep the faith of our people, in our culture, from our villages," Mora said.

It's the second year that members performed the run down Connecticut Avenue to Fairfield Avenue and then into South Norwalk. "Every year we are trying to get better and better, establish kind of a celebration every year," Mora said.

The real celebration is on Sunday, a South Norwalk tradition dating to 1999: a procession down South Main Street at 11 a.m., followed by Mass and a banquet. Festivities continue through the day and intensify with mariachi music at 10 p.m., with "music through the night."

It's all in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe . Mora said, "We celebrate this even if we are away from our home."

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