On May 5, 1862, in the town of Puebla, Mexico, a tired poor and small Mexican army defeated the large, well-armed army supplied to the Emperor Maximilian by the rulers of France, thus driving the French forces out of Mexico.
Since then each year a celebration is held on May 5, or Cinco de Mayo to commemorate that military win.
In Tucumcari, there will be two celebrations today.
The first will begin at 5:30 at Mesalands Community College and the second will follow at the Tucmcari High School Auditorium. “It should be great fun,” said MCC representative John Yearout about the first event. “It always goes over very well.” Yearout said that a flatbed truck from the truck driving school will be pulled up in front of the college and it will serve as a stage. He said one of the most popular acts that will be performing will be a Mariachi group from Las Vegas High School. “They are always popular,” said Yearout. “People always look forward to them coming.”
Yearout said for the younger children, there will be a “bounce castle”, ring toss, a fish pond, and even pinata breakings for almost all the younger age groups. “Also,” said Yearout. “the rodeo club will be doing horseback rides. That’s always very popular.” Yearout said there will also be face painting and the rodeo club will also be handling a concession stand. There will also be a “money machine” type of give away where people can enter a phone booth type chamber and have gift certificates blown around them.
“Some of those certificates are worth quite a bit, too,” said Yearout. “One of the banks is giving a $50 savings bond. It will cost $1 to get in the booth, but it will almost be certain that the person will leave with gift certificates worth quite a bit more that that.”
At 7:30 as the college celebration winds down, the second celebration will be starting up at the Tucumcari High School Auditorium. The free performance will feature Mariachi, ballet folklorico and other artists including New Mexico Hall of Fame Artist Antonia Apodaca and local performer Reynaldo Maestas whose brainchild the evening program was. “I wanted to be able to give back to the community,” said Maestas who organized the event and got the other performers to take part in the festivities. “This city has treated me very well since I have gone to school here so I thought of this as a way to give something back.”
That is why Maestas, a business major at MCC contacted the other performers, Apodaca, Mariachi Tenampa de Alburquerque and Baile Illusion Ballet Folklorico to take part in the event to celebrate both Cinco de Mayo and the city of Tucumcari.
He said the performances were also a salute to all of the businesses, organizations and individuals that supported him in putting together the “Hispanic Cultural Extravaganza.”
“I really think this will be special,’ said Maestas who besides being a performer and producer also competes in rodeo for Mesalands Community College. “I really think everyone will enjoy this. We have some wonderful talent that will be on stage.” Maestas said the entire evening should be good but he said that those coming will especially enjoy the grand finale which will have all the performers who took part on stage singing together.
“I’m very excited about this,” said Maestas. I want anybody who is around town to come to this,” said Maestas. “I know they will enjoy it.”