May 02--Austin College students will offer free food, live music and family activities in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. The event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Sid Richardson Center on the AC campus.
"We are here to bring awareness to the campus and the community that we're here and we're proud," said Elizabeth Gonzalez, president of Los Amigos, Austin College's Hispanic heritage organization. "We want to do something to show off our culture and educate people."
The event will feature a mariachi band, folklorico dancers, a mechanical bull, a bounce house, competitions for costumes, Zumba dancing, and chips and salsa eating. Free food suitable for a variety of palates will be available, from tamales and horchata to popcorn and cotton candy.
Those in attendance are encouraged to bring a donation of canned food to be sent to Grand Central Station soup kitchen in Sherman.
Jassmin Penado, treasurer of Los Amigos, said she hopes people will enjoy themselves as well as learn a few things. "Most Americans believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico'sindependence day, but it's not really. Cinco de Mayo just represents a battle that Mexico won against the Spaniards in the Spanish War," Penado said. "It's just a way to gather the family and celebrate Hispanic pride."
It is worth noting that the event will take place on Sunday, May 4, the day before the actual holiday. According to Gonzalez, this is part of an intentional effort to open the celebration to everyone.
"Before, it's been hard to target the community and reach outside of this little Austin College bubble, but this year we definitely took into consideration the date, the time, when would be most convenient for the community and for Austin College students," Gonzalez said.
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