Cinco de Mayo to come early in Denton

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David Minton/DRC
Matachines dancers perform in the Denton Cinco de Mayo parade last year in downtown.

Local celebration of Latino heritage slated for Saturday

More than 5,000 people are expected to celebrate the cultural heritage of Mexico on Saturday during Denton’s Cinco de Mayo festivities, which include a parade, music and food.

The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. and wind around the Courthouse on the Square before ending at the Denton Civic Center at about 11 a.m. Entertainment, vendors and activities will be in Quakertown Park until 6 p.m. Admission is free.

About 50 entries are expected to participate in the parade, including the popular matachines dance troupe from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the charros and escaramuzas on horseback, said organizer Blanca Govea, a Denton schoolteacher who has volunteered with the program for years.

“This is important because it allows us to demonstrate to the community our involvement within the community and our culture,” Govea said. “It allows us a chance to show off what our culture has to offer.”

Cinco de Mayo, which means the Fifth of May, celebrates the victory of the Mexicans over the French Army in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is widely celebrated in the city of Puebla but has become a popular celebration of Mexican culture in the United States as well.

The parade will begin at the Texas Woman’s University parking lot at the corner of Locust and Oakland streets. It will then continue down Elm Street around the courthouse and Quakertown Park before ending up at the Denton Civic Center.

Featured in the parade will be the president of Muzquiz, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, a position that is similar to a mayor in the United States. The president is visiting because of the large number of residents here who are from or descended from Muzquiz.

The daylong festivities at the park will include live music on two stages, a soccer tournament, children’s activities and a number of vendors offering food, drinks, jewelry, crafts and other items.

Children’s activities will include piñatas and an arts and crafts area. A Little Miss Cinco de Mayo pageant will also be held.

“Cinco de Mayo does have significance,” Govea said. “We want to keep it alive and well.”

DIANNA HUNT can be reached at 940-566-6884 and via Twitter at @DiannaHunt.


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