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Cinco de Mayo Festival in Hope

By Staff, 05/6/17 9:32 PM

HOPE–Holding the Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) celebration on Seis de Mayo (the Sixth of May) may seem odd to some, but Latinos (or Hispanics, or whatever you are comfortable with) have a long tradition of celebrating holidays for more than one day. Independance “days” in many Latino countries can last for up to a week, so an extra day is not a stretch.

This full day event held at the President William “Bill” Jefferson Clinton Childhood Home Museum in Hope, and hosted by the nascent Latino Heritage Museum to be founded in Hope, featured songs and dance. The performers, from ages 5 and up, wore traditional dress from the Mexican culture of different regions. Mariachi music, solos, and dance performances were constantly filling the stage and the bright air with culture.

Traditional Mexican foods including tacos al carbon were all todo gratis (all complimentary). The event was extremely well attended in conjunction with Train and Trade Days just a few blocks away, and visitors walked freely back and forth between events in plum weather.

Cinco de Mayo (the Fifth of May) is an annual celebration generally held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. In the U.S. the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16, commemorating the Cry of Dolores that initiated the war of Mexican independence from Spain.

*Author’s Note: Thank you to many many Wikipedia editors for the historical information on Cinco de Mayo. You may explore more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo. C. Jason Smith is an pro-bono Senior Editor on Wikipedia.

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