The annual Cinco de Mayo Omaha festival in South Omaha is planned Wednesday, May 1, through Sunday, May 5, 2013.
Cinco de Mayo Omaha 2013 highlights include a parade, a variety of food and refreshment booths, a beer garden, various vendors and exhibitors, and contests for all ages.
The family-friendly celebration will feature a full carnival along South 25th Street and a two-block area of activities just for children ages 2 to 10, Mundo de Niños (Kids’ World), on South 24th Street from M to O Streets.
Free live music from area entertainers, as well as Mexican national acts La Tropa Vallenata and Los Terribles del Norte, will also be featured throughout the weekend on the Plaza de la Raza at 24th and N Streets. Associated events include a health fair, a 5K run/walk, a golf tournament and a mariachi Mass.
Since the first local Cinco de Mayo was organized 28 years ago as a small South Omaha celebration concurrent to celebrations in Mexican-American communities throughout the U.S., the Omaha event has grown into a full-fledged festival and a destination for celebrants off all cultural backgrounds.
Attendance has increased every year, and in 2012, the festival welcomed more than 65,000 visitors from eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and even as far away as South Dakota, Kansas and Missouri.
The mission of Cinco de Mayo Omaha is to promote the Mexican culture and bring awareness to South Omaha businesses and organizations while raising funds for local non-proﬁt groups. In 2012, the event raised $40,000 for local non-proﬁt organizations. In 2013, proceeds from food booths, the soda and beer garden, the golf tournament, a 5K Run/Walk and the opening reception will again be directed to local non-proﬁt groups that serve the South Omaha community.
The theme of this year’s festival is “celebrating sports in the community”.
The festival parade will be led by grand marshals with Latino roots who are recognized for their contributions in sports: Lano Oropeza (baseball and basketball); Mario Remijio (softball and tennis); Hector Salgado (martial arts); Victory Boxing (boxing); and Marty Martinez (basketball and football).
Events by Date
Wednesday, May 1: A reception will be held to honor 2013 sponsors and grand marshals at the Livestock Exchange Building, 4920 S. 30th St., in the 10th Floor South Ballroom. Mariachis will entertain guests and photo exhibits on Latino baseball in Omaha and Latin music in South Omaha will be on display. The reception will start at 5:30 p.m. with presentations beginning at 6:30 p.m. Jorge Rivera, an immigration lawyer and founder of Immigration Group LLC, will be the featured speaker. He is known for his appearances on the Univision news network and shows such as Primer Impacto and Sabado Gigante.
Thursday, May 2: A celebration luncheon takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the South Omaha campus of Metropolitan Community College in the ITC Conference Center, Room 120. The keynote Speaker is Juan M. Izaguirre, M.S. Ed., Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Florida Atlantic University.
Friday, May 3: The carnival will begin at 5:30 p.m. along South 25th Street from O through M Streets, with rides and midway operating until 11 p.m. Renowned artists La Tropa Vallenata will perform at Plaza de la Raza (25th and N Streets) beginning at 7 p.m.; admission is free. The Cinco de Mayo Queen Coronation will also take place Friday evening at 6 p.m. with special appearances by Mayor Suttle and representatives from the Mexican Consulate.
Saturday, May 4: The Midwest’s largest parade will begin at 10 a.m., extending from 24th and B Streets to 24th and M Streets. A fiesta will follow the parade, along with food booths, live music and a variety of vendors and exhibitors. More than 80 shops and restaurants offering a wide variety of Mexican cuisines will be open for business during the festivities. The carnival will resume at noon and will run through 11 p.m. along with food and vendor booths.
Sunday, May 5: Sunday events begin with a 10 a.m. Mariachi Mass on Plaza de la Raza (25th and N Streets), followed by a Health Fair from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The carnival, food and vendor booths and live entertainment festivities continue from noon until 10 p.m. Sunday’s headlining music performer is Grammy-nominated Los Terribles del Norte, who will take the Plaza de la Raza stage for a free performance beginning at 6:30 p.m.
A 5K walk/run begins at 9 a.m. at Omaha South High School’s Collin Stadium, 22nd and M Streets. Before the 9 a.m. walk, youth 13 and under can participate in a one-mile run, which begins at 8:30 a.m., and children ages 8 and under can compete in a 400-meter dash which starts at 8:20 a.m. A link to registration information is available on the Cinco de Mayo Omaha website. The first-ever Cinco de Mayo Golf Tournament begins at 1 p.m. (registration at noon) at Miracle Hills Golf Course, 1041 North 120th Street. Spots are limited.