Second Annual Celebration of Mexican Culture and Tradition in the Spirit of Cinco de Mayo Scheduled for Friday, April 16, 2010, at the U of M, Crookston; All Events are Free and Open to the Public

A fiesta in the spirit of Cinco De Mayo will recognize the Mexican culture and tradition at the University of Minnesota, Crookston on Friday, April 16, 2010. This year's schedule of events honors the rich heritage of the Mexican people beginning with an authentic Mexican meal in Brown Dining Room. The dinner begins at 4:30 p.m. and runs through 7 p.m. Dinner guests will enjoy live musical entertainment by Cathy and Abel with guests, a musical duo from St. Paul, Minn. All events are free and the public is welcome.

Following dinner, there will be a program of traditional Mexican music and dance performance in Kiehle Auditorium from 7-9 p.m. The program will feature Los Alegres Bailadores, a Mexican folk dance troupe who were also a part of last year's celebration. Las Rositas, a dance group from Crookston, Minn., will also take the stage to perform along with Cathy and Abel with guests. This activity is funded, in part, by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. The program will conclude with a Zumba presentation by J.J.'s Body Shop in Crookston.

The band Esquina will play for a family dance from 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. Esquina, from the Fargo-Moorhead and Dilworth area, will play Latin and regional music for the whole family. Members of the band include Rene Gonzales, Ted Guerrero,  Dave Tesch, Bobby Valdez , and Mario Valdez. This activity is funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation through the Northwest Regional Development Commission.

The fiesta is funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation through the Northwest Regional Development Commission and by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  

Ken Mendez, a senior from the U of M, Crookston, has been an integral part of planning the event. "We are excited to celebrate the legacy of the Mexican people," Mendez says. "The grant funding we received makes a significant difference in our ability to host our second annual fiesta. We welcome everyone to join us for an evening filled with celebration."

The fiesta is sponsored by the U of M, Crookston Office of Diversity and Multicultural Services; Voices, a group that provides community cultural awareness education; Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE); El Metate restaurant in Crookston; and the Student Experience office on the Crookston campus.  

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

Contact: Thomas Williams, director of diversity programs, 218-281-8580 (; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (