Bay Area celebrates Cinco de Mayo

May 4, 2008 7:39:20 PM PDT
It is one of the biggest celebrations in the Bay Area. Cinco de Mayo festivals were held today in several Bay Area citys . In San Jose, the parade and festival went on without incident

Organizers say about 80,000 people to attended Sunday's event. Besides celebrating, organizers wanted to make sure there were no incidents to spoil the event.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory against the French army in a fierce battle back in 1862. San Jose police said they wanted to prevent any other types of their own battles that might have happened either at the festival or when people went home later.

Sunday's Cinco de Mayo parade along Market Street in San Jose featured traditional Mexican folklorico dancers, dancing horses, and several children's floats and performance groups. Sunday's celebration featured more children than ever before. Organizer and chairman of the San Jose G.I. Forum, Robert Guerra says the young need to be involved.

"We try to do that, to pass it on, you know, so the people can pass on the culture then pass it on to their kids," says Guerra.

Eddie Barron Jr. says he feels good bringing his two granddaughters because the festival is a lot safer.

"In the recent years, I think it's healed the community and people have come together. You don't see the rowdiness that you used to see. That's why I bring my grandkids out now. It's more like a family event. I'm very proud of that," says Barron Jr.

San Jose Police Department Lieutenant Larry Mc Grady sees things going smoothly, but there have been arrests at last years event.

"We're not really planning on any enforcement today. It's just crowd control basically for the parade and then for the festival."

Since it began in 1983, the festival has attracted more and more people from diverse backgrounds such as a group of hearing impaired friends.

"We're here because we love the culture of Mexico and we're here also for the food. We love the food," says San Jose Resident Pamela Lin.

The festival has evolved over the years to insure security. The entire grounds of Discovery Meadows was fenced in for the celebration and entry was tightly controlled.

Anyone who caused a disturbance was quickly dealt with by San Jose police. San Jose police said there would be more traffic enforcement officers on the street so they could keep people and traffic moving.


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