Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Southeast Texas? What is it, exactly?

Many Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

What is the holiday all about?

Cinco de Mayo begain in Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo has a simplename. It is Spanish for “Fifth of May.”

The holiday is a yearly celebration held on May 5, which commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexican forces wereled by General Ignacio Zaragoza. The victory of a smaller, poorly equipped Mexican force against the larger and better-armed French army was a morale boost for the Mexicans. Zaragoza died months after the battle from an illness, and a larger French force ultimately defeated the Mexican army at the Second Battle of Puebla and occupied Mexico City.

More popular in the United States than Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863. The day gained nationwide popularity beyond those of Mexican-American heritage in the 1980s due to advertising by companies looking for an additional holiday to drive sales.

If you are looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in East Texas, there have been annual celebrations in: 

Lufkin: Communities Cinco de Mayo. This may be the biggest and oldest of East Texas Cinco de Mayo celebrations. The event typically has musical acts representing different portions of Mexican and Mexican American Culture. They also have wonderful food vendors with authentic Mexican and Tex Mex dishes. Funds raised support local scholarship opportunities for Hispanic students.

Cinco de Mayo Jasper. This is a newer event and seemed to get a great response from vendors and the public. Expect music, lots of food vendors, and activities for kids and families. They had opportunities for vendors if you are interested for this year.

Other local communities occasionally have Cinco de Mayo events. We will continue to bring you updated information as it becomes available.


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