Cinco de Mayo
The Star Tribune reported that twenty five years ago, a group of business leaders from St. Paul's West Side decided to sponsor a neighborhood festival to, "stir up community pride and customers for local businesses," and today that tradition is still going strong. Owners borrowed two street barricades from the Police Department, they got a flatbed truck with a trailer for a "stage" and rented a couple of portable toilets. According to the Star Tribune, neighbors marched in that first Cinco de Mayo parade, and sold homemade tacos and tamales along the parade route. The event includes three stages of entertainment and shuttle buses. Also, a 5k run, a lowrider car show, a sports zone and two blocks of vendors. This area is overwhelmingly Mexican, the Hispanic community is increasingly from Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador and other nations.
The Pioneer Press reported that the festival drew thousands of people over six blocks and two days. The Pioneer Press reported that, while the festival's Friday night car show was a magnet for the young, Saturday's parade was a family affair and a symbol of the deep infusion of Hispanics into the Twin Cities mainstream. Klondike Kate, from St. Paul's Winter Carnival made an appearance along with a "booty-shaking" sorority that danced just a few paces ahead of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Ponchos, beaded necklaces, black light posters, "Dora the Explorer" balloons and otehr kitsch were sold by Vendors. Also, dozens lined up for an autograph from Mexican screen star Hector Suarez.