'Keep our culture going': South Bay's lowrider community celebrates Cinco de Mayo with pride

Lauren Martinez Image
Saturday, May 6, 2023
SJ's lowrider community celebrates Cinco de Mayo with pride
The rain didn't put the brakes on the lowriders, or the dancing horses from celebrating Cinco de Mayo in San Jose Friday.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Lowriders of all colors are rolling down Santa Clara Street with pride on Cinco de Mayo.

This year, cruising is not a crime in San Jose. Last fall, the city lifted a 36-year ban that established no cruising zones. These classic, custom built cars joined the parade of others driving up and own with Mexican flags.

MORE: The origin of Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the US

Earlier in the day, Cinco de Mayo festivities started out at the plaza off Story and King Roads in East San Jose.

On and off again rain didn't stop Baile de Caballos (dancing horses) or a band from playing.

Tammy Delamora brought her family out to celebrate. She said rain or shine, it's important to celebrate.

"It's part of our culture so we have to keep our culture going and show our grandkids - my granddaughter to show them that culture needs to keep going and going," Delamora said.

Since 2000, Sylvia Morquchal has been a vendor at this plaza. She said this year's Cinco de Mayo turnout has been rough.

"Maybe $1,000 or $2,000 but now it's been like $200, $300, $100, $50 for days. It rained yesterday and for us - it's trouble because believe it or not we're trying to make a living," Morquchal said.

VIDEO: For the South Bay lowrider community, cruising is not just for holidays - it's a lifestyle

Cinco de Mayo is extra special this year following the no cruising ban was lifted in San Jose last year.

For the last 15 years, Juan Gonzalez has celebrated Cinco de Mayo at the plaza off Story and King.

This is the first year his teenage son drove in his own truck.

"I'm trying to explain to them like respect, no donuts, no anything wrong you know trying to drive safe," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez is from Guadalajara, Mexico. He's lived in San Jose for the last 22 years.

MORE: Cinco de Mayo Celebrations: What most Mexican Americans want you to know

"I'm feeling happy you know, like celebrating with all you guys you know, so here looking at us in our trucks and everything," Gonzalez said.

His family's caravan of trucks will join the rest cruising into downtown San Jose.

Cinco de Mayo is about celebrating the past - and the lowrider community hopes to keep culture alive well into the future.

San Jose Police say they've dedicated more resources this weekend and remind everyone to celebrate safely and responsibly.

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