A weekend of festivities awaits as Cinco de Mayo is celebrated across the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. While some confuse the event with Mexican Independence Day, which is Sept. 16, the day has grown into a mainstream celebration of Mexican culture throughout the United States. Locally, the day will be marked with parades, music, festivals and other entertainment. A look at some of what is planned:
Cinco de Mayo Parade – Saturday: The annual South Modesto Businesses United-sponsored parade features floats, youth groups, music and much more. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Crows Landing Road in Modesto from Olivero Road to Glenn Avenue. Free. (209) 604-4167.
Cinco de Mayo Fest – Saturday: RGM Records and La Gran D 93.9 FM present a festival with a children’s carnival and live music by El Dasa, Los Canarios de Michoacán, Las Voces del Rancho, Banda Troyana and more. Noon to 9 p.m. Fantozzi Farms, 2665 Sperry Ave, Patterson. $10.
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Manteca Cinco De Mayo Festival – Saturday and Sunday: Central Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presents entertainment, vendors, car show, food and more. 10 a.m to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Library Park, downtown Manteca. Free. www.centralvalleyhispanic chamber.org.
El Concilio’s Cinco de Mayo Family Festival – Sunday: El Concilio hosts the 20th annual Cinco de Mayo Family Festival with music, dancing, food, community resources and more. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weber Point Event Center, 221 N. Center St., Stockton. $5 for adults, free ages 13 and under. elconcilio.org.
Festival del Cinco de Mayo – Sunday: A day of folkloric dances and live music featuring El Dasa, Alejandra Rojas, Sonora de Mina, Los Relampagos del Valle and more. Noon to 10 p.m. Merced County Fairgrounds, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Merced. Free before 5 p.m, $10 after. (209) 535-2272.
Musical Journey Through Latin America – Sunday: Concert featuring Cantare Con Vivo’s Chamber Ensemble, California Sate University, Stanislaus, Concert Choir and Chamber Singers and Bay Area Latin Jazz Fusion group Quijeremá will present pieces from numerous Latin American countries. 4 p.m. Foster Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Free. (209) 338-2100.