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Cinco De Mayo Celebration A Frist For New York

From El Diario/La Prensa
April 12, 2002

By Ana Ledo

This year the first Cinco de Mayo Festival will be celebrated in New York City.

The Committee for National Mexican Holidays and Casa Puebla announced that on Sunday May 5th, the celebration will take place at Flushing Park, Queens.

Prominent entertainers such as Alicia Villareal, los Tucanes de Tijuana, and the Kumbia Kings will be part of the event.

"This will be a great moment for us to showcase our culture to the other communities and the authorities," said Jaime Lucero, president of Casa Puebla.

Lucero hopes that the entire community will come out and participate. "We hope that our festival will be like the Colombian or the Ecuadorian ones in New York."

Although May 5th is not Mexican Independence Day, Mexicans, especially for those who reside in the United States, celebrate it with the same importance.

Mexico won its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810. May 5th, however, is a significant day for both Mexicans and Americans. One hundred and forty years ago, 4,000 soldiers under the command of president Benito Juarez, defeated 8,000 invading French troops who tried to conquer Mexico starting with the state of Puebla.

Under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza, born in Texas, the Mexican army defeated Napoleon III's French forces.

Cinco de Mayo is an important military and political date, not only because of the battle of Puebla, but also because it marks a point in history for Mexico's prowess and nationalism.

The celebration of the first Cinco de Mayo Festival is free and open to the public from 10 am until 6 pm. For more information call (718) 651-1708.

Translated from the Spanish by Armando Reyes

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