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May 04

Cinco de Mayo in Montrose

Posted on May 4, 2018 at 6:40 PM by Sonia Dumas

Come and enjoy a kaleidoscopic celebration of Mexican culture at Centennial Plaza.  

Every year on May 5, Mexican communities and lovers of all things Mexico come together to celebrate the unique culture of the country as well as to reflect on the contributions made by the Mexican and Latino communities to our town.

Viva Mexico

This year, the focus point of Montrose’s Cinco de Mayo celebration will be a festival of flavors and fun in partnership with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) groups from Delta, Olathe, and Montrose. Working together to bridge communities and to foster a more inclusive society, the high school groups from Montrose, Delta and Olathe, are inviting the whole community to Centennial Plaza from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. where there will be a car show, dancing, lots of delicious Mexican food and more.

In keeping with LULAC’s mission, this year will see a king and queen crowned at the festival with each receiving a $500 scholarship to help them further their education.

Sponsored by Montrose High School, the Cinco de Mayo festival is also an opportunity for school and community clubs to fundraise for their organizations, so no matter why you love Mexico and its vibrant and delicious culture, get down to Centennial Plaza in Montrose to celebrate the Mexican-American community and the contribution they have made to Montrose. Enjoy food from, among others, food truck Tacos Yaris.  

Eat, drink and be merry

Cinco de Mayo is synonymous with Mexican food (and maybe even a margarita or two), and downtown Montrose has several places to enjoy a tremendous taco or a marvelous margarita. Amelia's Hacienda Restaurante (44 S Grand Ave; 970 249 1881) is a popular spot a few blocks west of town in Sampler Square, while at the other end of Main Street is Tacos El Rey (1019 E Main St; 970 964 4457) and Payares Cantina & Mexican Restaurant (1135 E Main St; 970 615 7240).

A long and storied history

Of course, the Mexican (and the Hispanic) community’s contribution to Montrose extends far beyond just restaurants. There are dozens of Hispanic-owned businesses in town as well as families that go back generations and have played a critical role in making Montrose and the Valley the place it is today.

In fact, Downtown Montrose today is home to many Hispanic-owned businesses of all kinds, including Chuck’s Glass. At over four decades old, Tony and Phyllis Sanchez have seen Montrose go through some big changes. Then there is Arturo Rodriguez at Uptown Fades, a barber on East Main. Arturo has been plying his trade in Montrose for almost five years -  in fact he celebrates his fifth anniversary on June 8th.

Cinco De Mayo - Uptown Fades_ Arturo Lujan
And perhaps the most interesting Hispanic-owned business Downtown is Montrose Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Owned by husband and wife team Arthur and Jennifer Lujan, Montrose Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been such a success since it opened to the public in September 2014 it has outgrown two locations. It is currently on East Main Street, but who knows how big it can go?!  

Cinco De Mayo - Arthur and Jennifer Lujan

Senate Approval

The importance of Cinco de Mayo has even been recognized by the United States Senate. Back in 2012, the 112th Congress recognized that Cinco de Mayo serves as a reminder that the foundation of the United States was built by people from many countries and diverse cultures who were willing to fight and die for freedom.

The resolution went on to quote Benito Juarez, the president of Mexico during the Battle of Puebla when he said: ‘‘El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz’’ (‘‘Respect for the rights of others is peace.”)

The Senate ultimately resolved to encourage the people of the United States to observe Cinco de Mayo with appropriate ceremonies and activities, so make sure you do by getting down to Centennial Plaza this May 5 to enjoy a fantastic fiesta of festivities and fun.

Interesting factoid

Often thought to be Mexico’s independence day, Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico’s actual Independence Day is September 16, a day that commemorates the Cry of Dolores that initiated Mexico’s war of independence from Spain.