WATSONVILLE — The 30th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration takes place on Main Street and the Plaza in downtown Watsonville Sunday. Hosted as usual by Fiestas Patrias de Watsonville, the free event includes live music, food stands, information booths, Folklorico dance performances, mariachi music, community services tables and more.
A section of Main Street is typically closed off to motor traffic to make room for the festive gathering.
“This will be our 30th year of celebration,” said organizer Oscar Rios. “It is always a great way to bring the community together to have a good time and help people learn about the various services here in town.”
The celebration commemorates the Battle of Puebla, in which a 4,500-member Mexican army of men, women and children defeated better-equipped French troops on May 5, 1862. Though heavily outnumbered, the Mexicans defeated an army that had gone undefeated for almost 50 years, according to Fiestas Patrias.
The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. On the music chart will be Martin Castillo, Mar-K, Los Tremendos Sepultureros, Rocio and others, said Rios said.
Thousands of people typically show up for the event.
Fiestas Patrias de Watsonville is an all-volunteer community organization. Organizers say their goal is to support local businesses in building bridges of understanding within the community. The annual festivals of Fiestas Patrias bring together an average of 10,000 people from the Monterey Bay Area to celebrate and to learn about the heritage and culture of Mexico.
At the same time the celebration is occurring, the Watsonville Police Department is increasing patrol to look for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Please plan ahead and use a designated sober driver, ride-share or public transportation,” WPD spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said.
The increased patrol is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.