Cinco de Mayo celebration draws huge crowd to St. George Catholic Church

Dancers performing to traditional Mexican music during "Cinco de Mayo" celebration at the St. George Catholic Church Saturday, May 5, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Hundreds gathered for the St. George Catholic Church’s “Cinco de Mayo Celebration” Saturday where authentic Mexican food and folk music filled the air, accompanied by traditional dances and attractions for both young and old alike.

People gather for “Cinco de Mayo” celebration at the St. George Catholic Church Saturday, May 5, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The celebration took place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the church’s parking lot in downtown St. George, 259 N. 200 west.

Similar to a huge block party, plenty of food venues lined the parking lot while musicians played next to a large dining area.

Dancers performed “Jarabe Tapatío” – “Mexican Hat Dance” – along with other traditional folk dances steeped in Mexico’s rich history.

For the younger Cinco de Mayo celebrators, there were bounce houses and water attractions where throngs of children gathered to escape the 90-degree heat and have fun.

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For the Rev. Martin Picos, pastor of the St. George Catholic Church, the event is about “helping people,” he said. “It’s not only about Catholics, but for the whole community.”

Dancers performing to traditional Mexican music during “Cinco de Mayo” celebration at the St. George Catholic Church Saturday, May 5, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Contrary to popular belief, Picos said, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s independence day – that day falls on Sept. 16.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the country’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

During the battle, an outnumbered Mexican army forced more than 6,000 French soldiers into retreat May 5, 1862.

The battle lasted from daybreak to the early evening in Puebla de Los Angeles, a small Mexican village southeast of Mexico City, according to History.com.

Many local restaurants donate food and supplies during “Cinco de Mayo” celebration at the St. George Catholic Church Saturday, May 5, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

While that wasn’t the last battle in the overall war against the French, it served as a moral victory and illustrated the country’s ability to stand against a powerful foreign nation and prevail.

The holiday is celebrated differently in this country than it is in Mexico where the day is considered a minor holiday, Picos said, while acknowledging the victory’s historical significance.

In the U.S., and particularly in St. George, Picos said, “it’s a really big deal” and is a way for “everyone to get together, to have fun and to celebrate each other and the community.”

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.  

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • mctrialsguy May 9, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Cinco de Mayo is an “in your face” made-up holiday, nothing more.

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