OCEANSIDE — More than 1,000 people packed the Pier Amphitheater to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 3, and this year’s crowd was considered “smaller than usual.”
“This year was the smallest ever. Can you imagine?” Minnie Rzeslawski of 24k International Reality said as she assessed the crowd from her booth at the event.
The 20th annual Cinco do Mayo celebration sponsored by Univision is a tradition the Latino community looks forward to and has come to “expect.”
“Cinco de Mayo became a way for Latinos who live in the United States to celebrate their culture,” said Alberto Mier y Teran, general manager of Univision KBNT. “People come out year after year to join us in celebration.”
The celebration is packed with family fun. Live entertainment, food, games and novelty booths that overflow with wrestling masks, inflatable toys and miniature guitars mark the day.
As part of the entertainment, a “dance off” contest calls five women from the audience to the stage to compete for a pair of football tickets and the audience applause. Later a three-piece marimba band strikes up some tunes and couples dance in well-known steps.
Mier y Teran said that no alcohol is served and that is the way they want to keep it.
Cinco do Mayo is a holiday that celebrates Mexico’s victory over France in the battle of Pueblo, May 5, 1862. The holiday is celebrated more widely in the United States than it is in Mexico, as a day for Latinos to gather and celebrate their heritage.
“I think the community here has really embraced it,” said Robert Moutal, general manager with Telemundo.