Eileen Rodriguez is a little nervous.
She’ll help share the history of Cinco de Mayo during festivities in Pasco this week.
On stage. In front of what’s likely to be a pretty big crowd.
But she’s excited, too.
To her, Cinco de Mayo celebrates freedom, plus the opportunity to connect more with her Mexican heritage.
“Since I live (in the U.S.), I feel like that can be hard. This is a good way to connect to that culture and understand a little more than what’s in history books,” she said.
Rodriguez and some other Columbia Basin College students will perform a dramatization of the real events behind the Mexican holiday during Cinco de Mayo events downtown.
Their performance is at 7 p.m. May 4 at Salon La Michoacana, 417 W. Lewis St. Amerigroup and Taxes y Mas are sponsoring.
This is a good way to connect to that culture and understand a little more than what’s in history books.
Several other activities also are planned during the week, organized by the Downtown Pasco Development Authority.
Through the festival, “we want to celebrate cultural diversity in downtown Pasco, and really the city of Pasco in general,” said Jacob Gonzalez, the group’s president, adding that a significant amount of volunteer help is powering the events.
Cinco de Mayo marks the Mexican army’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It’s not a major holiday in Mexico, but it’s taken on significant meaning in the U.S. as a time to celebrate Mexican culture.
Along with the CBC students’ performance on May 4, activities also include a 5K fun run/walk on May 7 in downtown.
S.E.D. Fitness is sponsoring the event, which starts at 9 a.m. Registration is $10.
The annual Cinco de Mayo parade starts at 11 a.m. May 7 downtown. At least 30 different groups are scheduled to take part.
The Cinco de Mayo Festival will liven up downtown from noon to 7 p.m., with food, live music and other entertainment and activities.
Plus, May 7 marks the season opening of the Pasco Farmers Market.
“When you go to a festival, you want food, you want music, you want sunshine. We’ll have a lot of all of that,” Gonzalez said.
Organizers also put together a two-day soccer tournament, April 30 to May 1, at the Tri-Cities Youth Soccer Association fields at 6160 Burden Blvd.
Sixteen teams were scheduled to take part. Gesa Credit Union sponsored the tournament.
Gonzalez said the Cinco de Mayo activities will be a lot of fun.
“It’s about celebrating Pasco’s diversity. We’re proud of that. It’s one of our strengths,” he said. “It’s bringing people in to have a good time in a safe environment. That’s what’s important to us — giving the community a great event they can come and enjoy.”
More information: www.facebook.com/cincodemayopasco.