PASCO -- Pasco's Cinco de Mayo celebration on Saturday will feature dancing horses, tejano music and Mexican food.
The 21st celebration of the holiday will begin at 11 a.m. with a parade downtown starting at Lewis Street and Second Avenue.
Gloria Garcia, Cinco de Mayo Committee director, said Cinco de Mayo is a bigger holiday for Mexican-Americans than it is in Mexico, where Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16 is more widely celebrated.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when about 4,500 Mexicans fought 6,000 well-trained French soldiers and won.
The parade will go from Lewis Street and Second Avenue and snake around Pasco City Hall and back to the Pasco Farmers Market.
Kennewick teacher Gabriel Portugal will be the parade grand marshal. The committee wanted to recognize Portugal, who helped start the event and has been active in the community, including serving on the state's Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Garcia said.
"Gabriel has been a community advocate for many, many years," she said.
The parade will have bands playing various types of music, including mariachi, she said. And Michael Salgado, a Grammy Award-winning Tejano artist, will be a special guest and co-grand marshal.
The event is being held along with the opening of the seasonal Pasco Farmers Market, which goes from 8 a.m. to noon.
A show featuring dancing horses, which Garcia called "amazing" will begin next to the farmers market after the parade at 12:30 p.m.
The event also will feature performances starting at noon and live music including banda music performed by Latino bands starting at about 3 p.m.
The festival, which Garcia said last year attracted about 2,000 people, also will have food vendors and information booths set up by community service agencies and area nonprofits, she said. The celebration will wrap up at 7 p.m.
* Kristi Pihl: 509-582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org