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Cinco de Mayo Celebrations – Colorful and Caliente!

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Cinco de Mayo festivities drew a 70,000+ crowd to downtown San Jose this last Sunday. Photo by Mary J. Andrade

By Elena E. Robles
The city of San José festivities held on the weekend of May 5th, brought over 70,000 people to the downtown and Guadalupe Discovery Meadows.
The local chapter of the American GI Forum held a well-attended parade along Market Street that included many new entries and hundreds of families who enjoyed the holiday spirit.
Parade Marshall this year was the Mexican Consul General, Bruno  Figueroa, with special honorees including Assemblyman Joe Coto, former superintendent of the East Side Union High School District, the largest high school district in Northern California.
Folklórico dancers, danzantes aztecas, and a range of musical entries — high school bands and dance bands — were part of the traditional and spirited makeup of the parade.
New this year was a huge pirate ship float accompanied by snarling buccaneers, who made mischief on the route — much to the delight of the children in the audience. In the name of diversity, a contingent from India added to the variety and color of the parade entries.
Discovery Meadow held three large stages. Entertainment included the popular Mexican singer, Gloria Trevi, who attracted the largest crowd towards the end of the festival day.
The day long events ended and the large crowds dispersed peacefully in the late afternoon, logically causing the usual traffic problems that accompany well-attended downtown events.
That evening was also the first game of the playoffs for national hockey team, the Sharks, and the convergence of the incoming influx of hockey fans to the arena area and the crowds leaving Cinco de Mayo festivities, caused headaches and frustration for residents living in central San José and trying to get home after the weekend outings. Freeway off-ramps and access roads were closed and traffic was slow and frustrating. It happens.

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