Craig's Cinco de Mayo fiesta set for Saturday


In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is a relatively uncelebrated holiday.

But across the country's northern border, everyone thinks it's the day Mexico earned its independence.

Miscon--cept--ions aside, Yampa Valley businesses and residents of Latino and Anglo origins are coming together on Saturday to host Craig's first community organized Cinco de Mayo celebration.

May 5 is actually the day that a small Mexican army defeated a much larger French force in the Battle of Puebla.

The celebration in Craig is being organized by Integrated Community. The group's co-director, Summer Laws, hopes the celebration brings people from all walks of life together and helps integrate the community.

Even Daniela Martinez, 11, is getting in on the act. She and four of her friends, Viviana Becerra, Avvy Landa, Maria Flores and Fabian Quezada have been practicing traditional Mexican dances for the past two weeks. Dressed in traditional costumes made by their mothers, the children will perform between shows by Mariachi Jaliciense, a mariachi band from Denver.

The dance performance was Daniela's idea, her aunt, Pema Martinez said. Daniela learned the dances in Mexico.

The city of Craig is the celebration's biggest sponsor. The City Council donated $500 to Integrated Community in an effort to help the group's first Cinco de Mayo celebration be successful.

In all, the celebration has 22 sponsors, including Bob Johnson State Farm Insurance, Craig Ford, La Pinata, El Ranchero, and Cashway.

Authentic Mexican food will be made by local families and businesses including Pat's Roosterante, Casa Loya, and El Ranchero.

Children can participate in activities such as face painting and games and piñatas.

The celebration will be held at the Moffat County Fairgrounds from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or

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