Thousands of people will pack downtown Pasco on Saturday for a Cinco de Mayo parade and celebration.
The popular event also marks the season opening of the Pasco Farmers Market.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. May 2 at North Second Avenue and West Clark Street, winding through downtown. More than two-dozen entries are planned. U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, is the grand marshal.
Food and beverage tents open at 11:30 a.m.
“We have everything from hot dogs to snow cones to shaved ice to ice cream to Asian fusion to creole. It’s a really good mix,” said Michael Goins, executive director of the Downtown Pasco Development Authority, which organizes the Cinco de Mayo event.
Live entertainment starts at 12:30 p.m., everything from folkloric dancing to Spanish rock to mariachi music.
An area with activities for children also is planned, and downtown merchants will participate in a sidewalk sale by bringing an array of merchandise outside for event-goers to peruse.
It’s been a difficult few months in downtown Pasco. The fatal police shooting Feb. 10 of Antonio Zambrano-Montes happened in front of a downtown bakery, sparking protests and discord.
The Cinco de Mayo event is a chance to “showcase Pasco as a fun, safe community for the entire Tri-Cities to enjoy,” Goins said. “People from Kennewick, Richland, West Richland and Benton City — they can all come and enjoy.”
Gracie Herrera, who works at an insurance agency on North Fourth Avenue and has helped with the planning, said the event boosts downtown businesses and brings plenty of fun.
“It’s another way to bring people downtown” and show what the area has to offer, she said.
The event is expected to draw about 5,000 people.
The holiday Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It’s also come to be a celebration of Mexican culture.
Nicolas Zavala, who owns his own American Family Insurance agency downtown, said the Pasco event is good because it “brings us together and gives us an opportunity to celebrate — diverse people celebrating different cultures.”
“We have gone through difficult times,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to celebrate and be together.”
For more information on the Pasco celebration, go to www.downtownpasco.com.