The City of Harlingen will hold a Cinco de Mayo celebration from 4-6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Lt. George Gutierrez Jr. Park. The City of Harlingen, with the Mexican Consulate and City of Matamoros, will be holding a press conference on April 25, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at City Hall.
The celebration, in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate of Brownsville, will include live entertainment and cultural performances at the Park which is also known as “La Placita.”
Cinco de Mayo is a major holiday in Mexico. The day holds great meaning for Mexican Americans and those with Mexican heritage, because the date marks the military anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in 1862 when Mexican forces, led by Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated French troops belonging to Napoleon III at a site southeast of Mexico City. It took Mexico another five years to repel the final remnants of French troops after Spanish and British troops withdrew from Mexico, but the victory at Puebla symbolized Mexican resistance to foreign domination. The city was later renamed Puebla de Zaragoza, where the battlefield is maintained as a park.
Zaragoza, who died within a year after the battle, was born in Goliad, Texas, in 1829. As the son of a cavalry officer, he brought military traditions to the battle and a spirit of frontier innovation characterized by the original Tejanos. A historical marker dedicated to Zaragoza stands in Goliad and every year the community’s citizens recall their part in the victory that became known as Cinco de Mayo.
“It is important that our Mexican heritage not be forgotten,” said event organizer and Harlingen resident Connie Salas. “This event is held as a celebration of our heritage.”
Those performing include: Mariachi “Rey Azteca”, Folkloric Dancers – Groupo Renacimiento, Conjunto Jarrochos del Valle, Brownsville Orchestra and Arts Academy, Ballet Folklorico de Matamoros and Mr. Daniel Mercado.
The City of Harlingen and the Mexican Consulate invite the community to attend this celebration. There will also be food vendors for attendees to enjoy.
The Lt. George Gutierrez Jr. Park, or “La Placita,” is located at 500 W. Harrison Ave. For more information, please call the Harlingen Convention and Visitors Bureau at (956) 622- 5053.