Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with parades, fiestas and fun across the valley.
The holiday, while often confused with Mexican Independence day (Sept. 16), actually celebrates the Mexican military's victory over the French forces of Napoleon III during the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
A sampling of this year's celebrations in chronological order:
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Stanislaus County Cinco de Mayo parade — Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Crows Landing Road between Hatch Road and Whitmore Avenue. Free. 523-2860.
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La Perla Tapatia and Crows Landing Road of Stanislaus County Comerciantes Unidos Cinco de Mayo Community Celebration — Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Family friendly party at La Perla Tapatia, 2031 Crows Landing Road, Modesto. Free. 312-0516.
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 291 and Tuolumne County's Realty World Wilson Cinco de Mayo Family Fiesta — Saturday, 5-9 p.m. Dinner, entertainment, games and other activities. Mother Lode Fairgrounds, 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora. $10-$25; children under 5 free. 984-0888.
Cinco de Mayo at Tuolumne Park, presented by Latino Community Round Table of Stanislaus County — Sunday, noon-7 p.m. Performers Jessie Morales, Banda Magay, Gustavo Rivera, Invacion Nortenia, Marlue y Complices. Tuolumne River Regional Park, Modesto. $5; children admitted free. 303-2664.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Stanislaus County Cinco de Mayo Concert in the Park — Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mass at 11 a.m. with performances following by Aztec Dancers and Ballet Folklorico, Mariachi, Grupo Rasado, LaNoblesa de Aguililla and Vozes del Rancho. Free. 846-2660.
Whitmore Charter School Cinco de Mayo Celebration — Monday, 3:30-8 p.m. Music, dancing, food (takeout available), potted plants for sale and more, with proceeds going toward seventh- and eighth-grade student trip to Washington, D.C., in June. Whitmore Charter School, Don Pedro Road, Ceres. Free. 605-6336.
City of Modesto Cinco de Mayo — Monday, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Traditional foods, cultural entertainment, information booths, children's activities, prizes, music by Trio Los Latinos, Christina Avalos, Felicia Zapata, Mixtlan Folklorico and Fomento Cultural dance groups. King-Kennedy Memorial Center, 601 N. Martin Luther King Drive, Modesto. Free. 571-5814.