Olvera Street Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

On Saturday, May 5, with temperatures reaching above 90-degrees, Los Angeles residents celebrated Cinco de Mayo in downtown Los Angeles at Plaza Kiosko from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

As many attendees pointed out, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. Mexico gained its independence on Sept. 16 in a surprise victory over French forces in 1862. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the contributions of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to American culture.

Kimberly Coates, an attendee and Los Angeles-based photographer, said, “I grew up in L.A., and Cinco de Mayo is a big celebration every year, so I always try to come to Olvera street. An event like this allows people to celebrate and be happy.”

Traditional Mexican music, exhibitor booths, cultural dancing and Mexican food were featured along with multiple tables with various activities, such as arts and crafts during the celebration.

Many of the performances were put on by children, which gave the afternoon a jovial and light-hearted feeling. 10-year old attendee, Juan Gonzalez, said, “My group IDDM qualified to perform here for Cinco de Mayo, so we can have a good time and so people could enjoy us.” When asked what his favorite part of the day was, Gonzalez said, “The machetes dancing. It’s actually very entertaining and it’s even a good workout because you use your legs and arms.”

Many attendees told the Corsair this event reminded them how beautiful other cultures in our country are and seeing diversity can only teach people new things. “These events are very important to keep the culture alive," said Kelli Hope, another attendee of the celebration. "I myself, I'm Irish - look around. It’s a diverse group here and look at us, we came with white, Mexican, and black like here we are we’re loving it we need this on our culture especially for the youth.”