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On May 5, 1862, Gen. Ignacio Zaragosa’s Mexican army turned back the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla, an important early victory in the Franco-Mexican War. In the U.S., 155 years later, many people incorrectly believe that Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexican Independence Day and see it as just another excuse to load up on burritos and Coronas, but this daylong fiesta carries real significance for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
Because of the city’s sizeable Mexican-American population — 14.2 percent of Oklahoma City’s population is of Mexican origin — Cinco de Mayo celebrations tend to be authentic, sincere and hugely entertaining. This year, Oklahoma City celebrates the holiday with typical style, led by Calle Dos Cinco, the Capitol Hill District.
“This will be our second year at this location,” said Donna Cervantes, Calle Dos Cinco executive director. “We block off SW 25 between Robinson and Harvey, and we use the street for business vendors, crafts and children’s inflatables, and we have a folkloric dance company.”
The event is 5-8 pm. Friday and also features food trucks and strolling musicians along with a headline concert by OKC norteño banda Los Juliones.
The Calle Dos Cinco celebration began three years ago with an event at the Centennial Rodeo Opry Theater, but Cervantes said the format they adopted last year fits the character of the area.
“It has a nice ‘party on the plaza’ feel,” she said. The event also features classic cars, lowriders, youth activities, adult beverages from Medio Tiempo, taco trucks, snow cones and churro trucks.
Calle Dos Cinco’s Cinco de Mayo
5 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday
225 SW 25th St.
More de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated throughout the city and ranges from free events to benefits for local nonprofits.
OKC Cinco de Mayo Festival 2017
Happening siete de Mayo, the OKC Cinco de Mayo Festival begins noon Sunday at Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads. It features a horse parade, lucha libre wrestling from Mid-South Wrestling Alliance, the crowning of Miss Cinco de Mayo and musical performances by Estallido Musical de Durango, Banda Gabachos, Los Cadetes de Linares, La Sonora Escandalo, Colmillo Norteño, Ceremonia Cinco de Mayo and Polo Urias y su Maquina Norteña. Noon-9 p.m. Sunday at Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, 7000 Crossroads Blvd. Visit facebook.com/plazamayorok.
Upward Transitions Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
A benefit for Upward Transitions, a nonprofit providing urgent assistance to the city’s homeless and marginalized populations, Cinco de Mayo Fiesta features live music, salsa dancing and lessons and an array of Mexican-inspired cuisine from local restaurants. 6:30-11 p.m. Friday at OKC Farmers Public Market, 311 S. Klein Ave. Admission is $90-$150. Guests must be age 21 and over. Visit upwardtransitions.org.
Dancing in the Gardens Featuring the Salsa!
Myriad Botanical Gardens’ Seasonal Plaza will be transformed into a salsa dance party 7-10 p.m. Friday. Dance instructors Marti Rickman and Kelly Forbes from Hips and Clips Studio begin a dance demonstration at 7 p.m., followed by a free class. At 8 p.m. DJ Red Handed will play salsa music as vendors offer beverages and Mexican cuisine. 7-10 p.m. Friday at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave. Admission is free. Visit myriadgardens.org.
print headline: Viva Zaragosa, OKC celebrates the Battle of Puebla with Cinco de Mayo events.