City of Edinburg Hosts Annual Weekend Celebration
By Karen Villarreal
With the public school system rarely satisfying our Valley Natives’ desire for knowledge about our culture, learning about our heritage and carving out an identity is often left to the individual. The process of self-discovery is facilitated by celebrations, exhibits, and literature that sparks curiosity, opens the door for discussions, and simply celebrates who we are as a community. As the RGV is predominantly Hispanic, Cinco de Mayo is one such opportunity for us to come together.
All over the U.S. but even locally, one sees “Cinco de Drinko” being celebrated alongside more culturally-sensitive observations of the holiday; one example of the latter in South Texas is the annual Cinco de Mayo weekend celebration hosted by Edinburg Arts, a collaborative initiative by the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library and the City of Edinburg.
Kicking off the event on Friday afternoon in the Edinburg City Hall Courtyard (415 W. University Drive), Mayor Richard Garcia and the Mexican Consulate of Mcallen welcomed the crowd to the Cinco de Mayo weekend celebration with a brief history recap before giving the stage to mariachi groups who performed for the enjoyment of the open-air audience. Performances included local high school musicians (Robert Vela High School Mariachi Sable de Plata and Edinburg North High School Mariachi Oro) as well as professionals and local favorites: Mariachi Los Caporales, Mariachi Xochipilli, and Mariachi Monumental.
There were games and activities for the entire family, and lots of shopping, which will continue into Saturday.
Bring your wallet and browse the many authentic goodies offered by Mexican artisans, crafters, and merchants; in addition to leather sandals, artwork, painted ceramics, handmade jewelry, embroidered blouses and other textiles, there’s a whole row of food stands, so save some cash for an elote, spiropapa, or agua fresca.
Saturday promises more mariachi, folklorico, and conjunto exhibitions starting at 10 A.M., but according to Letty Leija, Director of Library & Cultural Arts, it really gets jumping when the bands start playing in the evening. Los Garcia Bros, Grupo Internacional Constelacion, Conjunto Delta Boyz, and Costumbre will draw thousands of people to the city hall courtyard, which is also the site of the monthly Jardin de Arte (or as many locals know it, the Edinburg Art Walk).
Leija, who has been facilitating the cultural displays in the city since 2008, says that while Cinco de Mayo is important because we are a predominantly Hispanic region, it is not the only culture in the Valley nor the only one that the library celebrates; their year-long lineup of events showcases the diversity of the Rio Grande Valley community. “We do have Frida Fest and los Muertos Bailan, but we also celebrate Diwali with the Indian Association and Philippine Independence Day. It’s a way to celebrate our growing community and embrace the new cultures that are joining us.”
Did you make it out to Edinburg for their celebration? Let us know what you thought and you may be featured in an upcoming article about the efforts of Edinburg Arts!
SATURDAY, MAY 6TH 10AM-10PM
Artisan fair 10am-10pm
Mariachi & Folklorico Exhibitions 11am-5pm (Main Stage Outside & Auditorium Stage)
Contacto Animal Shows 1:30pm-2:30pm & 4:30pm-5:30pm
Los Garcia Bros 6:00pm
Grupo Internacional Constelacion 7:00pm
Conjunto Delta Boyz 8:00pm