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Cinco de Mayo events planned for two days
Great Bend to celebrate Cinco de Mayo
A crowd is shown in this undated photo from a past Cinco de Mayo celebration in Great Bend. This year’s festival will be held Saturday, May 8, in Jack Kilby Square.

Great Bend will celebrate Cinco de Mayo this week with events on Wednesday, May 5, and Saturday, May 8. There is also a display at the Great Bend Public Library this week, honoring the cultural holiday.

“The cultural diversity of our central Kansas communities makes it an interesting place to live and work,” said Donna Krug from the Cottonwood Extension District’s Great Bend office. “On May 5th we have an opportunity to learn more about this culture.”

Krug, working with Cristina Ingram from Great Bend High School, asked for permission to set up activities from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the bandshell in Jack Kilby Square. Ingram will introduce El Sol, the GBHS folk dancers, who will perform at noon. 

Following their performance, the English as a Second Language (ESL) students from Barton County Academy, under the direction of Patty Fletchall, have been invited to make a short presentation, Krug said. They will be sharing “The Real Story of the Pinata.” Their presentation will end with the breaking of a pinata. 

There will also be an Extension StoryWalk activity from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the grassy area near the bandshell. Pages of a book are posted on storyboards and set up for an activity that promotes reading and walking. The story is titled “The Talking Vegetables” and is suitable for pre-school age children and their parents. 

“The activities on May 5th are free and open to everyone,” Krug said. “There are plenty of picnic tables and seating, so plan to spend your lunch hour at the Jack Kilby Square band shell to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.”

Saturday’s event

Great Bend typically celebrates Cinco de Mayo on a Saturday in May, and this year is no exception. The celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Jack Kilby Square. There will be music, food, dancing and other entertainment. A parade down Main Street will start at noon.

Events include the crowning of the Cinco de Mayo Queen of 2021. Cinco de Mayo of Great Bend awards an annual scholarship.

This year’s coordinators are Martha Delgadillo and Fernando Delgadillo.

Great Bend held its first Cinco de Mayo Festival on May 7, 1994, and it has become an annual tradition of celebrating Great Bend’s cultural diversity. Last year’s festival was canceled due to the pandemic.

el sol
A dancer from El Sol, a Great Bend High School cultural/folk dance club, demonstrates a traditional Mexican dance in this file photo from 2014. El Sol will perform May 5 and 8 at the bandshell in Jack Kilby Square. - photo by Tribune file photo