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Albuquerque Innsights

A local innkeeper knows New Mexico secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

Cinco de Mayo in Albuquerque

May 5,  aka Cinci de Mayo is a Mexican Holiday, primarily a regional one that has been recognized throughout the country in recent years. It is now also celebrated in the US wherever Mexicans Americans are, but has been celebrated in the American Southwest for a much longer time, and Albuquerque is no exception. Cinco de Mayo has become for Mexican Americans what St Patrick’s Day is to Irish Americans, or Columbus Day is to Italian Americans. Standing by the “any excuse for a party” rule, there are usually several venues celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Albuquerque, not always on May 5, but close to it. I will list what is going on this week below, but first, what is Cinco de Mayo?

Many gringos, including me until recently, think Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence day, but it’s not. Mexican Independence Day is Sept 16. While Cinco de Mayo it is a very important day in the state of Puebla, Mexico as our Texas Independence Day is in the US State of Texas, the reason for this Mexican holiday is very different. It is the celebration of a battle, the Battle of Puebla, and not it’s not even a battle that won a war.

Back in the 1860s the Mexican Government was defaulting on loans to England, Spain and France, and France alone, looking to expand its holdings in the New World, used that as an excuse to invade Mexico. The French troops landed in Veracruz in 1862 and marched toward Mexico City to take over the government. Mexican patriots met and defeated this invasion force at Puebla, against overwhelming odds. Although this battle was a catalyst in creating the Mexican pride that formed national unity, the French did eventually make it to Mexico City and in 1864 Napoleon III’s relative  Archduke Maximilian of Austria, was installed as ruler of Mexico. His time as head of state was ill fated and short lived, ending with his execution in 1867, after Mexican Troops, aided by American political and military assistance, were able to expel the French from their country.

Read more about the history of Cinco de Mayo, and then come celebrate bravery and a nation’s pride. The popularity of Cinca de Mayo in Albuquerque as well as many other communities across America grows every year. Commercial endeavors help to expand this popularity. Soon it will be a bigger deal in the US than it is in Mexico, as it is a holiday embraced by everyone. Here is what I found happening to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Albuquerque this year:
National Hispanic Cultural Center offerings…
May 4 – Fiestas de Baile: Mexican Social Dance
When: 6 p.m. rehearsal (PNM rehearsal hall), 7 p.m. performance
Where: National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Salon Ortega
The National Hispanic Cultural Center presents seasonal dance parties. Local instructors train dancers in a variety of Latin styles and techniques. A beer and wine cash bar will be open for the event.
Cost: Free

The Weekly Alibi offering…
May 5 – Flyer on the Wall

from the Alibi –
Cinco de Mayo Frito de Pie-o Fiesta! This week we honor a flyer designed in-house by Jeff Drew for our Cinco de Mayo party. The Alibi plans to observe May 5 by sitting outside, enjoying music, micheladas, Mexican sweets and other treats. Oh yeah, and free Frito pies while they last!
When:
Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m.
Where: Blackbird Buvette patio (509 Central NW)
Cost: nada!

Old Town Albuquerque offers…
May 6 – Cinco de Mayo Celebration
When: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Old Town Gazebo
The Fiesta de Colores features the mariachi and Latin music of Los Primos. Enjoy watching the dancers of Ballet en Fuego Dance Co., who bring you a mix of Mexican, Latin and Spanish dance styles.
Cost: Free

With the new immigration law that was passed in Arizona last week, I won’t be surprised if there aren’t some kind of dissident protests on Cinco de Mayo here in the southwest, and maybe elsewhere in the country. I hope not, as this is a holiday of merriment, and I would hate to see that upset by politics. But hey, if it wasn’t for politics there wouldn’t be celebrations on the 5th of May.

I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!

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One Response to “Cinco de Mayo in Albuquerque”

  1. Rhonda says:

    Just wondering if the National Hispanic Cultural Center offerings…
    May 4 – Fiestas de Baile: Mexican Social Dance is for 2011. The website that I first saw this info presented, said it was a 2010 posting and when I go to the NHCC website, it does not mention this event in their calendar. Please let me know if this is for this year. Thanks!

    Rhonda

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