Great Bend’s annual Cinco de Mayo Festival will get underway Saturday morning in the Barton County Courthouse Square (Jack Kilby Square). A parade down Main Street will start at 11 a.m. and there will be vendors, dancers and entertainment in the square until 4 p.m.
Events include the crowning of the Cinco de Mayo Queen of 2019. 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, which makes this the 26th year for this annual tradition of celebrating Great Bend’s cultural diversity.
The City of Great Bend supported this year’s festival with a $250 sponsorship and the closing of Main Street from 19th to Lakin from 11 a.m. to noon.
Cinco De Mayo means “5th of May” in Spanish. It is often misidentified as Mexican Independence Day.
The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Mexico was already an independent country when France attempted to expand its territory beginning in 1861. The battle is celebrated because the Mexican victory at Puebla against a much better equipped and larger French army provided a significant morale boost to the Mexican army and also helped slow the French army’s advance toward Mexico City.