Cinco de Mayo: 5 Issues You Ought to Know When Colorado Celebrates

COLORADO – Held on May 5th each year, Cinco de Mayo has grown into a major American celebration of Mexican heritage, but its growing popularity over the past few decades has centered on something entirely with the original name of the holiday is independent.

Alcohol.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year on beer and other alcoholic beverages for the Cinco de Mayo holiday, with the high point in 2018 when the holiday fell on a Saturday and was linked to the Kentucky Derby.

In fact, America’s obsession with alcohol has carried over other holidays as well, but the 5th

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Here are five more things you might not know about Cinco de Mayo:

What it actually observes: Cinco de Mayo observes the date of the Battle of Puebla in 1862 when the outnumbered Mexican army defeated the powerful French who occupied the area in search of unpaid debt. A popular misconception confuses the holiday with Mexican Independence Day, September 16. The country had gained independence from Spain years before the Battle of Puebla, part of a war that Mexican army historians consider lost to the French.

While May 5th is an official holiday in Mexico, it is not celebrated there as it is in the United States. Military parades have been held in Puebla over the years marking the victory of the battle, but the celebrations are low or non-existent in much of the country.

How it got big here: Cinco de Mayo in the United States dates back to shortly after the Battle of Puebla itself, when Mexican-American communities in California held regular celebrations every year for decades. It wasn’t until the rise of the Chicano movement in the 1960s that it expanded outside of the Golden State and eventually rose to become the drinking-associated holiday it is today when Corona launched its marketing campaign in 1989.

Biggest US Celebrations Return: Los Angeles and Denver are among the American cities that held the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations before the coronavirus pandemic.

With crowds starting to return in Year # 2 of the pandemic, Denver was already holding its annual celebration in the Westwood neighborhood, with artists and attendees wearing masks this past weekend.

The Fiesta Broadway Festival in Los Angeles has been known for years as the largest Cinco de Mayo party in the country. Although the number of attendees has varied, the streets of downtown Los Angeles typically still attract more than 200,000.

Here’s how Denver prepared: Some of Colorado’s biggest celebrations take place in southwest Denver, and local officials prepared for increased traffic, particularly along Federal Boulevard. Denver police said they welcome parties and cruises, but street racing has become an issue in the past few years. Traffic has been reduced to one lane from 6th to West Evans Avenues for safety reasons.

Celebrate without stereotypes: Fake mustaches, sombreros, and other depictions of Mexican American heritage can be offensive, according to a recent Houston Chronicle report on “How Not to Be Racist” on Cinco de Mayo.

“Please leave the oversized sombreros and fake thick mustaches in the party shop,” the report said. “There is no dress code for Cinco de Mayo and your usual jeans and t-shirts are fine.”

Cinco de Mayo takes place a day after Canada-launched Star Wars Day and is certainly more than just another excuse to drink. But with tequila as its most widely consumed drink, those who take the day this way should celebrate safely, and may the “Fifth” be with you.

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