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Dade City to mark Cinco de Mayo

Festivities will take place downtown this year; the event highlights the county's Hispanic community of nearly 20,000.

By RYAN DAVIS

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 2001


DADE CITY -- Two signs that Cinco de Mayo is growing in this city: It will be celebrated downtown and the festivities will actually begin on Cuatro de Mayo.

"We wanted to help Dade City flex its diversity muscles," said Evelina Bearden of the Farmworker's Self-Help, the social service agency hosting the celebration.

The holiday, which has been traditionally celebrated on Lock Street, the main drag through the Mexican community, will spill over Friday evening for the first time into downtown Dade City. It will be held between Live Oak and Meridian avenues just east of the U.S. 98/U.S. 301 bypass until Saturday evening.

The festivities will include food, music, games and a flea market. In each case some events and items will be Mexican, but some will be as American as the hot dog and country music.

"This is a Mexican-based event, but it's also to share the culture and share some of our tradition with some people who don't know anything about us," Bearden said.

The proceeds from the event will benefit Pasco Food Bank, which supplies food to agencies that give it to the needy. The Self-Help, which serves the largely Mexican farm worker population, is one of its distributors.

Though not the major celebration of independence in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has caught on in the United States, so event organizers figured this weekend would be as good a time as any to highlight the county's Hispanic community, which numbers nearly 20,000.

The traditional parade will highlight the celebration and will still be on Lock Street at 10 a.m on Saturday, Bearden said. It will be the only event not held downtown.

-- Ryan Davis covers higher education and social services in Pasco. He can be reached at 800-333-7505, ext. 3452.

CINCO DE MAYO SCHEDULE

Dade City Cinco de Mayo events will be between Live Oak and Meridian avenues just east of the U.S. 98/U.S. 301 bypass. There is no admission charge.

Friday

5 p.m.: Disc jockey playing music

6 p.m.: El Gringo Latino (Christian rap/hip-hop music)

6:15 p.m.: Jessica Brana (Christian music)

6:30 p.m.: Kumbia Kids (lip-synch performance)

6:45 p.m.: Las Muchachas (lip-synch performance)

7 p.m.: Crowning of festival king and queen (those who raised most money) and winner of poster contest (design for next year's T-shirt)

7:30 p.m.: Nuevas Fuerzas (Christian music)

8:15 p.m.: Lip-synch contest

8:45 p.m.: Grupo Los Mendez (Mexican cumbia and ranchero music)

Saturday

8-11 a.m.: Flea market

10-11:30 a.m.: Parade on Lock Street

11:30 a.m.: Fashion show

12:30 p.m.: Grupo Las Aguilas Mexican band

1:15 p.m.: El Gringo Latino (Christian rap/hip-hop music)

1:30 p.m.: El Grito contest (traditional Mexican yelling contest)

1:45 p.m.: Folklorico dancing and cakewalk

2 p.m.: Low-rider car show judging, best car and best hydraulics

2:30 p.m.: Folklorico dancing and cakewalk

2:45 p.m.: Janet Hernandez (pop music)

3 p.m.: Grupo Las Aguilas Mexican band

4 p.m.: Pure River (country music)

-- There also will be kids games and representatives from farm worker groups, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and the Pasco County Health Department.

-- Source: Farmworker's Self-Help

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