By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Sister Cities Oklahoma City and Puebla Mexico and Scissortail Community Development Corporation are partnering with Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads to host the 2015 Oklahoma City Cinco de Mayo Festival celebration.
According to organizers, more than 15,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Festival at Plaza Mayor on Sunday, May 3 from 1 – 9 p.m. The event will provide a true Mexican fiesta with music, dance, food, rodeo and culture.
Plaza Mayor is the former Crossroads Mall located at the intersection of Interstates 35 and 240.
Mary Blankenship Pointer and Renee Porter will serve as event co-chairs.
“Dignitaries from Fort Loreto and Puebla will join our celebration, which will make this one of the most official celebrations in the United States,” said Blankenship Pointer.
The Cinco de Mayo celebration takes place each year in Mexico and around the world to commemorate the historic Battle of Puebla that took place on May 5th1862, where the Mexican Army defeated the occupying French forces. The victory is celebrated annually in Puebla as “El Día de la Batalla de Puebla.”
This year, one of the delegates from Puebla joining in the Plaza Mayor celebration will be a curator of the Museum of Fort Loreto. He will make a special presentation about the historic stand of the Mexican Army.
The long-term vision for the local celebration is to honor our sister city relationship with Puebla by making it the most official and one of the largest of its kind in the entire country.
“This year, we will add Lucha Libre (Live Wrestling) to our activities,” said Robert Ruiz, Plaza Mayor Marketing Manager. “You will see inflatables and water rollers for the kids, horse shows, many vendors giving out free swag, food ranging from barbeque to burritos, snacks, drinks, and deserts.”
“There will be international Hispanic music acts from Puebla and we will have a Little Miss Cinco de Mayo Pageant,” Ruiz added. “Lots of fun for the whole family.”
In April 2013 a new direction for the super-regional mall was announced. After the name change to Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, the center began creating events celebrating cultural heritage and traditions including folkloric dancing, mariachi music, singing, and Zumba!
Many organizations are booking the facility to host various functions such as expos, blood drives, seminars, fashion shows and concerts.
Some of the notable events held include Three Kings Day Celebration, ¡Oklahoma Baile!, The Passion Play, a 20,000-egg Easter Egg Hunt, Día de la Madre, The Plaza Mayor Fall Festival (partnership with OKC Public Schools), Mariachi Festival, and Navidad en el Barrio (Posadas Celebration).
Plaza Mayor is also home to a semi-permanent office for the Mobile Consulate of Mexico open two weeks each month.
The other large Plaza Mayor outdoor event drawing mass audiences is the Fiestas Patrias in September. It is held in conjunction with the Mexican Consulate to perform the official ceremony of El Grito, which honors Latino culture.
The grand opening celebration of the new El Parian will also take place during the Festival.
“El Parian is the first business incubator in the area focused solely on retail businesses,” Ruiz said. “Business owners will have unique support because of its location in a major retail center. We are pleased to be partnering with SCORE on this initiative.”
SCORE is a nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring services to entrepreneurs in the United States.
This year’s Cinco de Mayo sponsors include Telemundo Oklahoma; Univision Oklahoma; La Zeta Oklahoma City, Smart Shelters, Inc.; Metro PCS, Anheuser-Busch of Oklahoma, El Nacional Newspaper; Conventions & More; Supermercado Buy For Less; Chicas Tax Service and El Vaquero Bronco Disco.
For more information call 405-631-4422 or visit www.plazamayorok.com.