Mark Consuelos gears up for Mexican Independence Day Parade: 'It's a celebration of our culture'

Jovana Lara Image
Friday, September 8, 2023
Mark Consuelos gears up for Mexican Independence Day Parade
The Mexican Independence Day Parade is returning to East L.A. Sunday and a familiar face will be the grand marshal: "I'm very excited."

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The beloved Mexican Independence Day Parade will return to East Los Angeles on Sunday, and the celebration means the world to this year's grand marshal, Mark Consuelos.

"It's such an honor to be part of something so big in the community there in Los Angeles. I heard Fernando Valenzuela was the grand marshal not too long ago. I'm in such great company," said the "Live with Kelly and Mark" co-host.

"All My Children" fans know Mark as Mateo Santos.

It's was one of his first acting gigs and the role that led him to his wife Kelly.

Their storyline on the soap opera was a big hit in the mid-'90s, but years earlier, Mark said he watched "All My Children" when he first moved to the U.S.

"We were at a hotel waiting to move into our permanent home and my mom and I ... we stayed at the Ramada Inn and we watched day time television," the actor recalled. "I learned a lot of the language just by watching daytime TV and 'All My Children,' my mom tells me because I was so young, was one of the shows that we'd watch together."

"All My Children" led to many other roles for Mark over the years.

He played the conniving father Hiram Lodge on "Riverdale" and a cartel lawyer in the drama series "Queen of the South."

Now, he is back to working with his wife on "Live with Kelly and Mark" where they interview guests and entertain a national audience of fans.

"It's a completely different muscle," said Mark. "As an actor, you really don't have to turn your brain on for a few hours. This job, your brain has to be working right away because I'm working with one of the fastest people in the business next to me, so I have to keep up."

Mark was born in Spain to an Italian mother and Mexican father.

He spent his early years in Italy, learning Italian, so when his parents moved to the U.S., he didn't speak English or Spanish, but he cherishes both his Italian and Mexican heritage, the strong bonds of family and great food.

"I love all Mexican food. I love it," he said. "Those family reunions, I don't mind telling you, would last into the wee hours of the night. A lot of dancing, a lot of eating and to me, it's the main focus around family."

Mark and Kelly live in New York where they raised their three children, but love what Los Angeles has to offer.

"Palm trees, movie stars, I love the weather," said Mark. "I love that there's a big Mexican influence as well."

So why is it important to celebrate Mexican Independence Day in the U.S.? Mark believes it goes beyond just a fun parade.

"First, I think it's to distinguish Cinco de Mayo and actual independence from Spain," he said with a laugh. "Not a lot of people know about the difference. It's a celebration of our culture."

About the parade

Now in its 77th year, the East L.A. Mexican Independence Day Parade is longest-running and largest Mexican heritage parade in the country. Hosted by ABC7 Eyewitness News anchor Jovana Lara and weathercaster Danny Romero, the 2023 parade will be broadcast live Sunday, Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on ABC7.

If you can't be there in person, you can watch the parade on ABC7 and wherever you stream.

For more information, click here.