A dance group performs at a past Cinco de Mayo celebration in Delavan. This year’s event will kickoff Friday, April 30 at 4 p.m. and feature live entertainment, a car show, a jalapeno eating contest, the crowning of the Cinco de Mayo queen and vendors selling a variety of traditional Mexican foods. (File photo)

The annual Cinco de Mayo festival in Delavan will be held this weekend, kicking off tonight, April 30, and going through Sunday, May 2, after what organizers said was “a long winter, so it’s time to gather and celebrate.”

Cinco de Mayo is a festival celebrated by many Mexican-Americans across the United States and, according to organizers, is a day of cultural pride that commemorates the unlikely victory by the Mexican Army over the French occupying forces in the state of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

In the State of Puebla, it is known as El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla or the day of the Battle of Puebla. It is not the true independence day of Mexico, which is Sept.16, but is a time to come together as a community and celebrate freedom and share culture and traditions with everyone, organizers explained.

This year’s festival at Delavan’s Bandshell – which is in Phoenix Park – is going to feature arts, crafts and food vendors with a variety of traditional Mexican foods. It also features a car show.

The event kicks off on Friday, April 30, with Under Siege performing at 4 p.m., followed by Con Sentido at 6 p.m. Friday’s festival fun will shut down at 8 p.m.

Saturday’s entertainment will open at 10 a.m. with Story Time, courtesy of Aram Public Library, Delavan) followed by DJ Rudedogg Rodriguez at 11 a.m. and Cedric Square at noon. At 1 p.m., the dance group Jesus Avila will take the stage.

At 2 p.m., the crowning of the Cinco de Mayo Queen will take place, followed by a jalapeño eating contest and the car show award.

At 3 p.m., Super Groupo Prestigio will entertain, followed by a 5 p.m. show by DJ Rudedogg Rodriguez. Rounding out the event on Saturday will be Rebelion De La Calle who will take the stage at 6 p.m.

On Sunday the festival will open at 10 a.m. with a Red Door Church mass that is open to all. At 11 a.m., a Selena tribute will take place, celebrating the life of the entertainer followed by DJ Smilez at noon. The afternoon entertainment will feature Los Chinelos at 1 p.m., DJ Smilez at 2 p.m., Salsa Brosita at 3 p.m. and Mariachia with Lirvetto Duran at 4 p.m. The event will come to a close at 5 p.m., Sunday.

“It has been a long time since we have been together, so this year make time to live, laugh and enjoy each other’s company again,” organizers said. “We hope to see you there and do not forget to visit and shop the many local downtown businesses that help support this event.”

Funds raised at the event help support a scholarship for a graduating Delavan-Darien High School student.



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