Big turnout expected for Cinco de Mayo
May 5th, 2011
Omaha, NE – In the heart of South Omaha, nearly 40,000 visitors will head to the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration this weekend.
The culture-rich 24th Street district will be full of musicians, dancers, ethnic foods and live entertainment. Grupo Control, a Latino music group out of El Paso, Texas, will take the stage Friday night. And on Saturday morning, 24th Street will also be the spot for one of the largest and liveliest parades in the Midwest, according to Marcos Mora of Cinco de Mayo Omaha.
â€œIf itâ€™s not the biggest, itâ€™s one of the biggest parades in about three to four states around here. I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s anything close to as big as this,” said Mora. “This festival is definitely growing to a magnitude thatâ€™s good for Omaha.â€
The celebration may be in its 26th year by an official count, but Mora said the festivities have spanned generations. â€œItâ€™s been around for a long time, but I think they did it like other ethnic groupsâ€¦that had their festivals. It was a way to preserve their culture and share their culture.”
Often confused as the Mexican Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo actually originates from an unlikely military victory in the small town of Puebla, Mexico located in southern Mexico. There in 1862, an ill-equipped Mexican army defeated a strong French militia, ordered to seize the town from Spanish rule by Napoleon. Cinco de Mayo has continued to grow since the 1950â€™s as a celebration embraced by Mexican-Americans along with non-Latinos across the US.
Mora said Latinos and Mexican Americans are proud to share their rich culture and heritage with their neighbors. And he said festival goers will see “…family values and people that are also trying to assimilate to American culture.”
The Cinco de Mayo festivities kick off today and run through Sunday.
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