Centennial Mall to host annual Cinco de Mayo celebration Saturday | CraigDailyPress.com

Centennial Mall to host annual Cinco de Mayo celebration Saturday

If you go …

What: Cinco de Mayo

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way

— The event, hosted by the mall and Vallarta’s Mexican Restaurant, will celebrate numerous facets of Mexican heritage. Chihuahua races will begin at 11:30 a.m., while the Rifle Folkloric Dance Group will perform at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Food and live music will also be available, as well as prizes for best traditional Mexican clothing for children 12 and younger. For more information, call Vicki Hall at 824-7011.

Folklorico dancers perform at last year's Cinco de Mayo celebration in Craig. Such dances will be included in this year's festivities, which begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way.

The Centennial Mall will host Craig's seventh annual Cinco de Mayo festival Saturday. Beginning at 11 a.m., the mall will be filled with traditional Mexican decorations and the sounds of mariachi music.

This is the second year Centennial Mall has hosted the event in Craig. However, the event will not have sponsorship from its usual source this year.

"Integrated Community/Comunidad Integrada couldn't do it this year because they didn't have the funding," Centennial Mall manager Vicki Hall said. "Vallarta's (Mexican Restaurant) will be doing a lot."

Hall said this year's celebration will not differ much from previous outings, with the exception of adding some new activities to the lineup, including Chihuahua races.

"We got the idea from KRAI's wiener dog races," she said. "We figured it made sense since Chihuahuas are a Mexican dog."

Hall said she anticipates a big crowd Saturday.

"Last year, we had about 1,000 people come," she said. "It was such a great success. It's always a huge celebration."

This year's event will also include performances by the Rifle Folkloric Dance Group, which will bring the art of dance from south of the border to Northwest Colorado.

Group member Elvia Marin, of Rifle, said the troupe, consisting of about 20 people, will display a variety of Mexican dances.

"We'll be doing six different dances from six different Mexican states," she said. "They've got different kinds of music and they're all unique. It shows all the different kinds of cultures in Mexico and what they're all about."

Marin attended last year's celebration.

"I think it'll be even better this year," she said.

Marin said she believes celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the region educates people about reasons behind the holiday.

"I think a lot of people mix it up with Mexican Independence Day," she said.

Mexican independence from Spain is celebrated Sept. 16, a national holiday that is much more important within the country compared to Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates Mexico's underdog victory against French troops at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated mostly within the state of Puebla, but the observance is also symbolic to the United States because of how the two countries joined forces to expunge Mexico from French forces after the American Civil War.

Hall said she believes the history is the most important part of Cinco de Mayo and how it is celebrated today.

"It shows how if we cooperate, great things can happen," she said.

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