De Soto’s Cinco turns cinco
Plans nearly set for Saturday’s downtown parade, Community Center celebration
This year's De Soto Cinco de Mayo Celebration won't be until May 8, but the Cinco in the title is still appropriate becasue this is the fifth year for the annual event.
Celebration Chairman Tony Valenzuela said those who have attended past festivals would be familar with many of the event's activities. But he said new features were added to keep the event growing and fresh.
"We hope to be bigger every year," he said. "We invite everyone to come and enjoy the activities.
"Everything is pretty much ready."
Planning for the celebration was easier this year because of the De Soto City Council's early decision to contribute $4,000 to the festival. The Council made a similar contribution last year, but festival organizers asked for the money too late to use it to full advantage in planning. Consequently, the festival was without the mariachi band it intended to hire, although a group of local musicians filled the void.
Valenzuela said there would be no lack of music this year when the celebration hit its stride about 1 p.m. at the De Soto Community Center, 32905 W. 84th Street. The group Achi from Kansas City, Mo., will bring its mariachi sounds to the festival. They would be joined by last year's band, which now had the name Lobo Negro and a sound system, Valenzuela said.
Many were also disappointed with the number of food vendors at last year's festival. Valenzuela said that shouldn't be the case this year.
"This time for sure we're going to have lots of food -- all kinds of food.," he said. "We're going to have 17 vendors. We're going to have restaurant food, and we're going to have homemade food."
As in its first four years, the De Soto Cinco de Mayo Celebration will start at noon with a downtown parade. Valenzuela said it would include horseback riders, music, lots of political candidates and -- perhaps -- a low-rider car club from Kansas City, Kan.
The festival will then move to the De Soto Community Center for a full afternoon and evening of events. Planned activities included children's games throughout the afternoon, piÃ±atas, a jalapeno-eating contest, children's Mexican folk dancing and -- if city insurance requirements can be worked out -- a mechanical bull ride, Valenzuela said.
The day's activities will conclude with a dance from 8 to 11 p.m., Valenzuela said. Achi and Lobo Negro would provide the music, he said.