May 052008
 
Authors: Andy Dose

With live entertainment including a traditional mariachi band, student organizations hosted CSU’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Lory Student Center Plaza Monday.

Often incorrectly referred to as Mexico’s independence day, Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for May 5, celebrates Mexico’s historic victory over a much larger French army on that day in 1862.

In collaboration with student government, El Centro Student Services and Student Leadership Involvement and Civic Engagement, CSU’s Multi-Cultural Greek Council held the celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., which featured food, live music and authentic dance performances.

This is the second event held on the plaza during the school year that the MGC puts together, said Jennifer Macias, a graduate student in CSU’s history department and MGC president.

“We usually do it every year, we do Cinco de Mayo, and then we do Mexican Independence Day, which is on Sept. 16 – our two big events we do on the plaza,” Macias said.

Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration for the first battle won by Mexico in their war with France, called the Batalla de Puebla, where 4,000 poorly armed Mexican forces triumphed over 6,000 trained French soldiers.

The war eventually resulted in the French occupation of Mexico.

Macias dances for the group Ballet Folklorico Raices de Mexico, which performed on the plaza for spectators, most of whom were students. The dance featured traditional themes and feats, such as tempo-timed swordplay and dance steps.

“We travel all throughout Greeley, Fort Collins, Loveland and Denver performing,” Macias said. “So that’s usually how I celebrate (Cinco de Mayo). But otherwise I enjoy going out with my family, eating food and celebrating.”

Three multi-cultural fraternities and four sororities were present for the celebration, each of which had displays with information about Cinco de Mayo and about each respective organization.

Jason Amador, a freshman open option seeking engineering major and member of the Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity, said that everything went to plan for the event, including the weather.

“The mariachi and the dancers have been really cool,” Amador said. “The food’s really good, and it’s just been a beautiful day.”

Staff writer Andy Dose can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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