Though Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican Army's underdog win against the French on May 5, 1862, in America the civic holiday is better known for boozing and bar brawls.
But La Luz Center's annual "Cinco de Mayo Fiesta for Education" takes the prideful holiday and brings it back to its community roots.
"It really is a time to celebrate together with the schools," said Maricarmen Reyes Larios, a program coordinator at La Luz. Though traditionally La Luz's Cinco de Mayo event has been held at the Plaza, this year - for economic reasons - they're bringing the festival back to La Luz's Booker Hall.
The location is fitting for the festival's focus on area schools and bi-cultural learning. The day will recognize finalists for La Luz's awards for English acquisition, Spanish language learning and general academics. Representatives from , and the will have the chance to greet parents, students and members of the community. They'll also announce the winner of La Luz's Cinco de Mayo "Art Poster Contest."
That's not to say that the festival is short on celebration. Face-painters and a costume booth will allow revelers to try on a traditional Mexican look, while a DJ spins some bilingual English/Spanish tunes. Come hungry: enchiladas, tamales, churros and agua frescas will all be on sale.
Even better, every penny donated to the fete will go towards La Luz's scholarship program. How that for a community celebration?
Cinco de Mayo for Education is held at La Luz Center's Booker Hall, 17560 Greger St, on Saturday, April 30, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. Admission is free; optional donations go to the La Luz's scholarship fund. For more information call (707) 933 -5131.