Mayor Mike Allison was on hand Saturday to proclaim May 5 as “Cinco de Mayo” in Great Bend, kicking off the 19th annual Hispanic cultural festival.
Allison noted the growth of the festival over the last two decades. “It has really become a community-wide celebration,” he said. Allison thanked the volunteers of the Cinco de Mayo de Barton committee and the venders for “all of the great food.”
The celebration got under way in the morning with a parade down Main Street, followed by programs in the courthouse square. A number of venders provided Mexican food and other items. The Mexican flag was presented along with the U.S. flag and both national anthems were played. The Rev. Donald Bedore gave the blessing.
Last year’s Cinco de Mayo Queen, Yesennia Bustamante, passed her crown to the 2012 Queen Miriam Marin. Other girls who were candidates for the crown became Cinco de Mayo princesses. They are: Yahaira Martinez, Maricruz Marin, Angelica Castro and Arlene Armendariz.
The Outstanding Hispanic Role Model award went to Chon Chavez, a student at Great Bend High School, and $500 scholarships from the Golden Belt Community Foundation were presented to Abigail Rodriguez, Sandra Hernandez and Vanessa Favela.
The festival continued with singing, dancing and pinatas.