Cinco de Mayo celebrates culture

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Denton’s 27th annual Cinco de Mayo festival will unfold today in downtown Denton, providing an excellent opportunity to celebrate diversity and friendship.

Organizers are expecting more than 5,000 people to turn out for this year’s event, which promises activities for the entire family.

The colorful celebration is scheduled to get underway with a 10 a.m. parade. 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 on the Square and travel to the Denton Civic Center on McKinney Street.

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, organizers said.

After the parade, the festival action will move next door to Quakertown Park at 321 E. McKinney St., where entertainment and activities are planned until 6 p.m. Admission to the festival is free.

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 conducted. More information is available at www.dentoncinco.org.

Blanca Govea, a Denton schoolteacher who has volunteered with the Cinco de Mayo festival for years, said the event has a lot of meaning for those involved.

“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.

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

Why not plan to join those involved in this year’s festival? A lot of folks have been working on the event, and they’re excited about sharing the results with their neighbors.

We encourage you to be a part of the great tradition that is Denton’s Cinco de Mayo celebration. It’s a great way to make new friends and explore the diverse culture of our community.

We hope to see you there.


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