Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

In grade school, we would do a Mexican hat dance and eat tacos on Cinco de Mayo.  I was proud I could say a few Spanish words but my vocabulary was very limited.  Little did I know, only 50 miles away from my hometown rested one of the biggest Cinco de Mayo festivals in the Midwest.
While Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo is actually more of an American holiday than a Mexican holiday.  Cinco de Mayo celebrations are believed to be started in California by Mexicans and Latinos wanting to bridge the gap between Mexico and America in the 1950’s.  It steadily became popular throughout the states and hit Omaha in the 1980’s.

South Omaha’s rich culture has embraced Cinco de Mayo with its festive activities this week.  While some may see it as just a big celebration, Cinco de Mayo is extremely beneficial to our community.  First National Bank and South Omaha Business Association have created a celebration that draws crowds not only from the Omaha Metro but from a 200 mile radius from South Dakota to Missouri.  The Omaha World Herald reported that $40,00 was given back to non-profit organizations from the Cinco De Mayo proceeds.

Looking through the pictures from past years at, I can’t wait for this year’s celebration.  There will be a Mudo de Ninos (Kids section) on N Street from 23rd to 24th Streets and the carnival opens Friday at 5:30 on 25th Street from O to M.
The famous Grupo Control ( be shaking up South Omaha with their danceable music on Friday at 7 p.m.  Music by Grupo Control and local artists will be free and located at the Plaza on 24th and N Streets.

There is no other place to be in Omaha than the parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Experience one of Omaha’s biggest parades while Mexican heritage is celebrated by all.  After the parade, the fiesta includes food, a carnival and booths with over 80 shops and restaurants open to the public.

Join in the unique fellowship of the Mariachi Mass on Plaza de la Raza (25th and N) on Sunday, May 8th.  Bring the whole family participate  in the fun of the carnival with food, booths and entertainment from noon – 10 p.m. on the plaza.
Nos vemos en la plaza! (See you at the plaza!)

Photos courtesy of

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