13th annual festival of food, music and fun looks bigger than ever
By Denny Dyroff, Correspondent, The Times
If you’re in search of the best Cinco de Mayo celebration in the United States, the most logical place to look would be downtown Los Angeles — especially along Olvera Street.
If you’re looking for the best Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Delaware Valley, the best place to focus your search would be downtown Kennett Square.
For people of Mexican descent, Cinco De Mayo is one of the biggest party days of the year — right up there with Navidad (Christmas on December 25) and El Dia de los Reyes (The Three Kings Day on January 6).
With a large Hispanic population in southern Chester County, Kennett Square is the ideal location for a Cinco De Mayo Celebration. Celebrating the warm weather holiday has become an annual tradition in Kennett Square with festivities held on the Sunday closest to May 5.
This year, the day of partying in the heart of Mushroom Country will take place on May 4 in downtown Kennett Square from noon to 6 p.m. State Street in the central business district will be closed from Broad Street to Lincoln Street from 7 a.m. until the end of the event. Union Street will also be closed for through traffic in the center of town.
Kennett Square will also be in a party mood on May 2 when Historic Kennett Square hosts the May 2014 edition of the “Kennett Square First Friday Art Stroll.”
“Cinco De Mayo” (“The Fifth of May”) is a holiday that commemorates the defeat of the French army by the Mexicans at The Battle of Puebla in 1862. On May 5, 1862, over 6,000 French soldiers tried to capture the forts of Loreto and Guadalupe in Puebla de Los Angeles, Mexico. Led by General Ignazio Zaragoza, 2,000 Mexican men fought back hard and held the fort.
Kennett Square’s Cinco De Mayo, which is celebrating its 13th anniversary this year, celebration pays tribute to the historic battle and also serves as a showcase for many facets of Mexican culture. The free event features authentic Mexican food, music, entertainment and children’s activities.
The annual event has been presented in Kennett Square since 2006 by Casa Guanajuato, a group promoting Mexican culture. One of more than 50 kindred organizations across the USA, Casa Guanajuato derives its name from Guanajuato, a state in Mexico that is the original home of many of the Mexican immigrants in the area.
The 2013 edition of the festival drew more than 15,000 people to Kennett Square. The day-long party, which is free and open to the public, is a family-focused, street event featuring music, folk dancing, food courts and restaurants featuring traditional Mexican food, a wide array of vendors and a number of regional non-profit organizations.
A special area for youngsters will feature hands-on arts and crafts activities, the Kennett Fire Department’s Training trailer and other activities while the “DJ/Dancing Zone” will offer dance classes and contests.
Some of the other showcased activities this year will be the “Education Fair” with the participation of 10 regional universities and colleges, a “Multicultural Forum at Liberty Place” with round tables and presentations on topics such as literature and recycling, and the crowning of Miss Cinco de Mayo by Ilia Garcia, a TV news presenter from Univision 65 news presenter,
For additional information on Kennett Square’s 13th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration, visit http://www.casagks.org.
There is another good reason to visit Kennett Square this weekend. The “Kennett Square First Friday Art Stroll,” which is billed as an “Arts Community Open House,” will be held in the borough’s downtown area from 6-9 p.m.
Kennett Square’s “Art Stroll” is a monthly celebration of the local art scene with a huge variety of arty on display in galleries, shops and restaurants throughout the borough. Attendees are encouraged to stroll along the tree-lined streets and browse the many businesses that stay open late.
For additional information on the “Kennett Square First Friday Art Stroll,” contact Historic Kennett Square at (610) 444-8188 or http://historickennettsquare.com.