THE LOOP — The city celebrated the convergence of Mardi Gras and its own 177th birthday Tuesday, but the start of the celebration was disrupted by a school activist heckling Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Emanuel was making remarks as part of a kickoff ceremony at the Daley Center when Rousemary Vega began shouting from the audience that the mayor should devote himself to Chicago Public Schools issues.
"You should start worrying about every child, not just charter kids," Vega called out.
The mayor has been criticized for what some say is an overeagerness to expand non-union charter schools.
Vega berated the mayor for about three minutes before she was led away by building security. She accused the mayor of not meeting or engaging in any sort of dialog with CPS activists.
"After the Polar Plunge, I appreciate the warm response," the mayor quipped before continuing with his remarks.
The heckling disrupted a planned celebration with a distinct Mardi Gras flavor. The Big Shoulders Brass Band & Mystic Krewe of Laff led a parade onto Daley Plaza, where 10 food truck will offer their goods until 7 p.m. Goose Island beer and wine will be available as well.
The City of Chicago was incorporated on March 4, 1837. This year's relatively late Easter led to the rare convergence of the city's "birthday" and Mardi Gras, the day before the Christian season of Lent.