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Two ‘Cinco’ celebrations this weekend
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By Joshua Pilkington

Pueblo hosts two exciting events in honor of its sister city

When the Emperor of France Napoleon III deployed his troops to Mexico in 1861, it was thought by the European powers of France, Spain and the United Kingdom that victory would be imminent. That victory would pave the way for a continued invasion north to the United States, which was in the midst of a Civil War.

The war, known as the French intervention in Mexico, reached a turning point on May 5, 1862 in the Battle of Puebla. It was in the southern Mexico City, about two hours east of Mexico City, that the smaller Mexican Army defeated the better equipped French soldiers. The victory provided a morale boost to the Mexican Army and slowed the French’s advancement toward the country’s capitol. Though the Mexican Army would be defeated in subsequent battles, the Battle of Pueblo proved to be the turning point in the French intervention and allowed the country to ultimately win out and retain its sovereignty.

Eastside Celebration de Cinco de Mayo 2017

That battle is still celebrated with regularity in Puebla, so it makes sense that it would also be held in high regard in its sister city of Pueblo, Colo. According to the Eastside Action Support Team (E.A.S.T.) it is an honor for Pueblo to share the date with its sister city.

“Not only is the historically embattled “Heróica Puebla de Zaragoza” our namesake and sister city, we are also richly endowed with the sons and daughters of Latin and Native Americans,” according to an E.A.S.T. press release. “We celebrate in honor of all nation to enjoy the rich diversity of cultures forged together in our ‘Steel City’, to gather and celebrate in the park together on a fine afternoon.”

Pueblo will enjoy a couple of celebrations. On Sunday E.A.S.T. will host its Celebration de Cinco de Mayo 2017 with a parade to begin at 10 a.m. at St. Leander’s Church before heading west on 8th St. and into El Centro Quinto Sol Park for live music and other festivities. The event will also feature food trucks and vendors from the area as well as free pony rides and face painting for kids.

The park will also host its annual Cinco de Mayo car show from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The competition will also include an autosound competition through the United States Autosound Competition International (USACI). Featured musical guest at the celebration is Chicano rapper Josh Reyes, known locally as SB The Don.

“Those of us working through the Eastside Action Support Team are all about forging bonds in and among communities helping to empower people to improve their quality of life,” according to the E.A.S.T. press release. “We are working alongside volunteers, businesses and non-profits throughout Pueblo and neighboring communities.”

Pueblo’s 47th Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration

The E.A.S.T. celebration isn’t the only game in town, however, as Bessemer Park will host Pueblo’s 47th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration on Friday. Beginning at 12 p.m. the free event, will carry the theme “Unity through Resistance,” will feature a mix of Chicano speakers, folklorico and Aztec dancers and Mexican singers.

The event will feature two stages of entertainment along with a variety of workshops. As with past events, the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Bessemer Park is dedicated to an individual with a lasting legacy in Pueblo.

This year’s celebration is dedicated to Dr. Lucia Rivera Aragón who passed away on March 7. Rivera began her career in education with Head Start and the Teacher Corps Program. She was the bilingual bicultural coordinator for Huerfano School District while in Walsenburg and was awarded the prestigious Colorado Educator Award in 1989 by the Milken Family Foundation.

The 47th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration in Pueblo kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday with a jam session at Zaragoza Hall.





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