Saturday was a day for fun, music, food and celebration for the many people that came out to enjoy the Cinco de Mayo event at Jack Kilby Square.
“This festival is representation of the diversity of our city,” Mayor Mike Allison said. “It’s wonderful that so many cultures can come together and celebrate and have a good time doing it. This year’s event has such a great turnout. It’s really great to see all these people come out and support this event.”
This year’s event started at 10 a.m. with music and food venders. At 11 a.m. a parade started at Brit Spaugh Park and continued down Main Street to the courthouse square.
After the parade, people gathered at the Clayton L. Moses Memorial Band Shell to listen to both the national anthems of the United States and Mexico. That was followed by a word of prayer marking the continuation of the event.
At this time, Allison proclaimed May 6, 2017, to be Cinco de Mayo Day in Great Bend and the committee of the event gave the Allison a plaque for his continued support for the event.
After the proclamation, Joanna Sanchez was crowned the Cinco de Mayo Queen of 2017 and was joined by last year’s queen, Karina Silva.
Dancers took the stage as the activities continued throughout the afternoon. It was the first major event since the new improvements to the band shell, including an expanded stage.
Cinco de Mayo
According to latinamericanhistoryabout.com, literally “the Fifth of May,” Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Holiday celebrating the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862.
In 1861, France sent a massive army to invade Mexico, as they wanted to collect on some war debts.
The French army was much larger, better trained and equipped than the Mexicans struggling to defend the road to Mexico City. It rolled through Mexico until it reached Puebla, where the Mexicans made a valiant stand, and, against all logic, won a huge victory.
It was short-lived, as the French army regrouped and continued, eventually taking Mexico City, but the euphoria of an unlikely victory against overwhelming odds is remembered every May fifth.
In Puebla and in many U.S. cities with large Mexican populations, there are parades, dancing and festivals on or about May 5. It is sometimes referred to as a “Mexican St. Patrick’s Day.”