South Omaha's nearly week-long Cinco de Mayo celebration along 24th Street hits a high note Friday night.
Mexican star Diana Reyes performs at 6:30 p.m. on the main stage, but she'll have to share the spotlight with the other star of the evening, the authentic cuisine of South O. “It's a good chance to come down, enjoy the food and just to try something new,” says event coordinator Marcos Mora. “We've never done this before on Friday night, so we wanted to do something new so people might come down after work, maybe have a margarita, maybe try a taco, try something new."
The events are centered around South 24th and M streets, but the festivities stretch for blocks from 5:30-10 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. There's no entrance fee or cover charge and you can take a shuttle bus from South High School.
An event of this magnitude is driving greater awareness of the neighborhood gems you can enjoy year ‘round. The South Omaha Development Project points out perceptions as a barrier to attracting residents from other parts of the metro, but much work is going into promoting the unique flavors of the neighborhood found in mom and pop shops as well as larger businesses like Supermercado, which just opened its latest south Omaha location this spring.
"Like so many other sections in town, it's really coming along now and you see the lights and the landscape and the flowers and you've got the ambiance of the stores and the food and just kind of vibrant culture down here," says Mora.
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the victory over French forces on May 5, 1862 at the Battle of Puebla.