May 5, 2016 marks the 154th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo, a celebration that commemorates a major Mexican victory over French troops during the 1862 French invasion of Mexico.
It may surprise you to know that in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is seen as “the day” to celebrate Mexican food, drinks, culture and traditions. In contrast, in Mexico Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in a very low-key manner. Cinco de Mayo was first celebrated in the United States in Southern California in 1863 as a show of solidarity with Mexico against French rule. Celebrations continued on a yearly basis, and by the 1930s it was seen as an opportunity to honor Mexican identity, promote ethnic consciousness and build community solidarity. In the 1950s and 60s Mexican-American youths appropriated the holiday and it gained a bi-national flavor, and its celebration was used as a way to build Mexican-American pride. Celebrations sometimes acquired corporate sponsors, and this is the way the holiday began to take on a commercial flavor.
On Wednesday, May 4, the celebration was on at Susan and David Parker’s where The Game Gang not only observed Cinco de Mayo in grand tradition, but also toasted Susan and David’s 15th wedding anniversary!
The festivities included Mexican cuisine, classic and mango margaritas, Mexican music, festive beads and a spirited game of Mexican Train. A sombrero was worn by the winner of each round of Mexican Train. The game really became agile as it progressed, and round winners had the honor of wearing more than one sombrero at once.
Pete Toppan was the “big winner” scoring only 138 points and wearing a sombrero four games, while the “biggest loser” was Ed Heberlein with 390 points. Millie Aramanda sported a sombrero five times, winning the most games.
What a fun and festive way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.