Cinco de Mayo celebration to embrace all families, people

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

There will be no shortage of events celebrating Cinco de Mayo in eastern New Mexico Friday and Saturday.

Organizers say they want to make their celebrations family venues and not just for Hispanic families. Cinco de Mayo will be celebrated in Portales, Clovis and Tucumcari.

There will be a variety of musical performances featured during the Cinco de Mayo festivities at Lindsey Park in Portales Saturday.

“There will be all kinds of music for everybody,” Oscar Robinson, chairman of the multicultural affairs committee for the city of Portales, said. Robinson said the music will begin at noon and all of the musical performances will take place in the gazebo. Robinson said music performances will start with flamenco dancers at noon followed by Native American dancers from 1:30 to 2 p.m. The Unbreakable rap group will perform in the afternoon followed by Spanish music and other entertainment until 9 or 10 p.m.

The events are scheduled to take place all day with games, pinatas, horse rides and food. Admission is free, but Robinson said there will be a cost associated with the horse rides, food and a three-point contest. There will be cash prizes for the three-point contest. There will also be an entrance fee for the horseshoe competition which begins at 11 a.m.

The cost to enter the three-point contest is $5 per person and food provided by Sodexo will range from $4 to $6. There will also be a car show during the Cinco de Mayo festivities.

“In previous years we had parades, but this year we wanted to focus on the celebration at the park and focus on families,” Robinson said.

Members of the Hispanic Affairs office are holding a banquet at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Campus Union Ballroom on the Eastern New Mexico University campus in recognition of Hispanic students and faculty. Cost for those who are not students is $15 per person.

Nancy Varelas, of the Hispanic Affairs office, said Julia Rosa López-Emslie, who was recognized as one of the 10 most outstanding women of New Mexico by Gov. Bill Richardson, will give a talk during the banquet. Lopez-Emslie recently retired after more than 23 years of teaching at ENMU.

Lopez-Emslie will also give a second speech at 8:45 a.m. Saturday in the Sandia Room. People who would like to eat during the speech can pay for breakfast at the cafeteria counter.

Mexican songstress Perla Batalla will be performing with Zumbale Saturday in an event sponsored by the American Legion Post 25 on W. 7th St. in Clovis. The event also includes dinner, piñatas for the children and prizes.

She’ll be appearing at the Cinco de Mayo extravaganza at the American Legion, Post 25. The cost is $10 per person and the event starts at 6 p.m.

Big plans are made in Tucumcari for a Cinco de Mayo celebration from 5:30- 8 p.m. Friday. The celebration will take place at the Mesalands Community College parking lot at 911 S. 10th St.

John Yearout, director of public relations for Mesalands, said there will be food, a fish pond with prizes for the children, pinatas and live music by Amistad. There will be mariachi dancers and dance contests in six different categories: Polka, cumbia, rock and roll, ranchero, slow dance and western two-step. The events are free to the public.