Parades, pageants headline local Cinco de Mayo celebrations

Colorful skirts flying during traditional Mexican dancing to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.(Simone / AdobeStock)

Communities around Fresno and Tulare County celebrate Mexican-American heritage through Cinco de Mayo

FRESNO & TULARE COUNTY – Communities around Fresno and Tulare counties are preparing to come together this spring to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in their own special ways.

According to University of California, Los Angeles professor David Hayes-Bautista, Cinco de Mayo originated as a celebration of freedom and democracy by Mexicans living in California. Inspired by Mexico’s military victory over the French Empire in the Mexican city of Puebla on May 5, 1862, miners in a Sierra Nevada town “spontaneously fired off rifle shots and fireworks, sang patriotic songs and made impromptu speeches,” Bautista wrote in a paper published in 2009.

For Valley cities, the holiday has become a chance for residents to celebrate their Mexican and Mexican-American heritage and culture.

Dinuba

In Dinuba, the holiday will be observed with a variety of events, including a pageant, festival and parade.

The city’s annual festival and parade, “Fiesta en Dinuba,” will be held in Rose Ann Vuich Park from May 2 to May 5. Put on by the Dinuba Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Northern Tulare County, the festivities are slated to include food, craft booths and entertainment on Friday and Saturday, May 3 and May 4.

Additionally, the 2024 Dinuba Cinco de Mayo pageant is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. on April 27 in the Dinuba High School Hellbaum Auditorium. Admission to the pageant costs $5 for students and $10 for adults; tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance at Debbie’s Hair Fashions in downtown Dinuba.

This year’s pageant will feature seven local Dinuba students who will perform traditional Mexican dances, songs and monologues during the talent portion of the pageant. Contestants include Ashley Hernandez Tapia, Kimberly Camacho, Andrea Parra Lopez, Elizabeth Quintero-Rubio, Jamie Alba Villalobos, Zaira Castillo and Valeria Alfaro Villegas.

Each contestant is heavily involved in extracurricular activities both inside and outside of school and hopes to be the next Cinco de Mayo queen to continue to share their culture and empower young girls and women like them in their community.

Orange Cove

The city of Orange Cove is also hosting a Cinco de Mayo event, with a parade kicking off at noon on May 4. At J.O. Eaton Memorial Park on 6th Street, residents can watch the parade and participate in other festivities later that afternoon.

There will be pony and train rides available for children, as well as food, and a beer garden for the adults. Live entertainment will also be provided, with DJ Toeknee performing from noon to 1 p.m., folkloric dancers from 1 to 2 p.m. and local music group Balazzo will perform from 2 to 5 p.m.

Sanger

In Sanger, residents can enjoy the Cinco de Mayo Senior Luncheon on May 3 at the Sanger Community Center. Seniors and other residents are welcome to attend from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for live music, food, beverages and community camaraderie.

Tickets to the event cost $5 for seniors and $10 for non-senior residents; tickets can be purchased at the Sanger Senior Center and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department office.

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