By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
UPDATE: April 10, 2020 – Oklahoma City’s Cinco de Mayo Festival has been resceduled to September 13.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The seventh annual Cinco de Mayo Festival will take place this year at a new location, Scissortail Park, in downtown Oklahoma City. The free, family-friendly event will be held on Sunday, May 3 from 1 – 10:30 p.m.- Rescheduled to Sept. 13.
The 2020 festival, celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture, is expected to draw approximately 20,000 people, according to organizers.
Festivities will include live music from local and international touring artists, folkloric dancing, activities for children, a parade of horses, the crowning of Miss Cinco de Mayo, and a cultural ceremony led by the Consulate of Mexico.
There will also be a special presentation of Academia OKC students demonstrating their skills in mariachi, folkloric dance and photography.
“Every year it seems interest in celebrating Cinco de Mayo and the rich cultural history of the Hispanic community in Oklahoma City grows and grows,” said Maureen Heffernan, CEO and president of Scissortail Park Foundation.
“We welcome having this event at Scissortail Park as the perfect location for everyone to gather to celebrate and enjoy this event with music, food, dance and more,” Heffernan added. “Please join us. Por favor, acompáñanos!”
Hosted by Scissortail Community Development Corporation and Academia OKC,
the Oklahoma City Cinco de Mayo Festival began as a small event in 2014. The festival has grown each year and now attracts thousands of visitors and sponsors ranging from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to internationally known brands like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“The OKC Cinco de Mayo Festival has really hit a critical mass of attendance,” said Scissortail CDC Executive Director Robert Ruiz. “We believe that moving to downtown OKC will open the celebration up to a much larger audience while still keeping the culture and flavor that makes it such a unique and authentic event.”
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexico’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Oklahoma City and Puebla are united as “sister cities” through the Sister Cities International program, a non-profit that creates partnerships and fosters cultural exchange.
Ruiz, Executive Director for ChoiceMatters, an organization established to raise parent’s awareness on educational choices available in Oklahoma, said the partnership is just one of the reasons Oklahoma City’s celebration is one of the most authentic and exciting Cinco de Mayo events in the country.
“This is a coming out party each year for our Hispanic community and an opportunity to showcase just how large, significant and culturally vibrant we are,” said Ruiz. “It’s a great opportunity for all people to connect with that culture and to celebrate its contributions to life in Oklahoma.”
Located on 70 urban acres, Scissortail Park features a variety of experiences ranging from ornamental gardens and woodlands, to a lake and boathouse, children’s playground, grand promenade, water features, outdoor roller rink, an interactive fountain and an enclosed dog park.
Scissortail Park is managed by Scissortail Park Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.