Mexican pride was thoroughly celebrated around the Douglas Park Cultural and Community Center in Chicago, Illinois this past weekend, and MicroTech President & CEO, Tony Jimenez, took part in the festivities. Jimenez was invited to attend Chicago’s 4th annual Cinco de Mayo Parade on Sunday as their Honorary Grand Marshal.
With more than 100,000 attendees, the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago and the surrounding areas planned for three fun-filled days of community celebrations featuring parades, arts & crafts, and expositions. “Being a part of such a joyous and historic event is a tremendous honor,” remarked Jimenez. “You can feel the pride and camaraderie of this special community,” he said.
Often confused with Mexican’s Independence Day (Sept. 16), Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates the day when the French army invaded the town of Puebla. Even though the Puebla townsfolk were severely outnumbered by the French troops, they banded together and drove out the invading French army on the 5th of May in 1862.
That same roar of livelihood and pride echoed among the crowd and traveled down Chicago’s Pilsen streets. Chicago’s largest Cinco de Mayo parade kicked off at noon and ran west on Cermak from Damen to Marshall Blvd until 2 p.m. The celebration included marching bands, floats, flag-waving local organization members, prominent business officials, and politicians as well as folkloric dancers, games—and of course—delicious food and drink.
Ladies wearing colorful Mexican garb danced to live mariachi bands with horns accompaniments as they traveled around the neighborhood. Men in sombreros on horseback trotted up the road and local bands led by flag bearers and conductors marched up the street. Uniform-clad service men, women, and veterans from all branches of the armed forces marched in unison.
Even though the official date of the battle over Peubla was on May 5, the celebration in Chicago started right after working hours on Friday afternoon. The Bachata Allstars danced the night away at the celebration on Saturday with featured performances of different dance styles: baile, bachata, and cumbia. Other Cinco de Mayo treats fused tradition with Americanized modern sweets like the infamous Margarita Donut, a combined effort by two local shops: Taco Joint Urban Taqueria Cantina and Glazed and Infused.