Hundreds celebrate 5 de Mayo at the Las Vegas Festival, while for many Mexicans it’s just another day
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – When you think of Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas, you think of food, drink, and fun. Many people, regardless of their country of origin, use the day to celebrate Mexican influence and contributions to the United States.
However, for some Mexican families, it’s just another day.
That’s because 5 de Mayo, also known in Mexico as Battle Day on Puebla Day, commemorates how Mexican troops defeated the French Army in Puebla, Mexico in 1852 – not Mexican Independence Day like many people in the United States believe.
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“To be completely honest, it means a day Americans celebrate us,” said Mario Trejo Sr., a music teacher who has been in the country for more than 30 years.
“As a Mexican who grew up in Mexico, 5 de Mayo was never really celebrated,” he explained. “It was more Mexican independence, September 16th.”
“Any opportunity or excuse we can have for gathering and having a good time with our family members is welcome,” he said. “If it’s 6 de Mayo, May 3rd or February 17th – I don’t care as long as families gather.”
Mexican Consul in Las Vegas Julian Escutia explains why Cinco de Mayo is wildly celebrated on this side of the border.
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“The Chicano movement really felt that this celebration also marked them out for their resilience because of their persistence,” he said. “We stopped the French intervention in America. President Lincoln was very grateful to Mexico for stopping it.”
While its popularity in the US can also be attributed to American companies looking to sell more products, the day has also become a way of embracing Mexican culture.
“It’s just another opportunity to show how much we contribute to this country and how proud we are of our ancestors and our roots,” said Escutia.
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Many families in the Las Vegas area partied at the East Las Vegas Community Center and enjoyed traditional Mexican dancing, mariachi music, and plenty of food.
Some also got their COVID-19 shot when walk-in appointments were accepted.
If you’re partying tonight, great Mexican food, great music, and refreshing drinks are certainly part of the equation. To celebrate safely, remember: don’t drink or drive, wear a mask, and keep your distance.
More history of Cinco de Mayo:
Las Vegas celebrates Cinco de Mayo