CSU and the Fort Collins community will come together this weekend to celebrate the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo.
The celebration starts with an all-day kickoff on the Lory Student Center Plaza today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The kickoff will consist of continuous entertainment, with dance groups, speakers and information booths, said Rich Salas, assistant director of El Centro and director of Cinco de Mayo.
“We try to educate and celebrate,” Salas said. “We want people to be engaged and learn things at the same time.”
On Saturday, the 10th annual Cinco-Cinco 5K run and walk will be held on the Oval. The event serves as a memorial for Gil Gutierrez, the CSU ombudsman from 1990 to 1993.
In 1993, Gutierrez was hit and killed by a drunken driver while running. Several of his friends decided to start a Cinco de Mayo run, in honor of his heritage and love of running.
Barbara Musslewhite, assistant director of the Office of Undergraduate Student Retention, described Gutierrez as a gentle and thoughtful man.
“He made everybody feel like he was their best friend,” she said. “He left a mark on all of us who knew him.”
The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Gil Gutierrez Memorial Scholarship Fund. Scholarships of at least $555.55 are awarded to full-time CSU students in any major who demonstrate financial need, good academic standing and show community awareness and involvement.
The scholarship amount represents cinco cincos, or five fives. The number of scholarships and the amount depend on the proceeds from the run.
Participants can register for the race in the Student Recreation Center, at Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Student Services, Foot of the Rockies, Runner’s Roost or online at www.active.com.
Registration is $12 for students living in a residence hall or CSU apartment life complex, $14 for other students and senior citizens and $16 for the general public. An additional $3 will be added to the fee for registering the day of the race.
After the Cinco-Cinco run, Old Town Square will host a fiesta from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Other events in celebration of Cinco de Mayo include a Saturday night performance by the Niteliters, a San Jose, Calif., group; an outdoor mass and day of entertainment on Sunday; and the presentation of the film “Sweet Ambition” Monday night in the student center theater.
Cinco de Mayo signifies the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in 1862, in which the Mexicans defeated an invading French army led by Napoleon.
“It signifies that with persistence, you can overcome odds and that’s what Mexico did,” said Manuel Escobar, a sophomore in speech communications and president of the National Hispanic Institute, which is sponsoring the events at CSU.
The holiday also signifies that persistence can help anyone in any situation, Salas said.
All of the events for the holiday offer a chance for CSU students and the Fort Collins community to celebrate with one another, Salas said.
“It’s a good opportunity for the community and campus to come together.”
Information for Outbox:
Cinco de Mayo Events
Friday May 2
Cinco de Mayo Kickoff
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. LSC Plaza
Saturday May 3
Cinco-Cinco 5K Run/5K Walk and Children’s Fun Run
8 a.m. CSU Oval
Race-day registration starts at 6:30 a.m.
Old Town Square Fiesta
9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Lincoln Center
For ticket info call 221-6655
Sunday May 4
Dia de la Familia (Day of the Family)
Northside Aztlan Community Center 112 E. Willow
Outdoor Mass 9 a.m.
Entertainment 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Monday May 5 – Cinco de Mayo
“Sweet Ambitions” film
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. LSC Theater, tickets are free
For more information on the Cinco-Cinco run, call 970-491-4847
on community events, call 491-0590 or 221-6655
on campus events, call 491-5722