10 ways for Omahans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo - Omaha.com
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Members of the Mexican Dance Group Xiotal perform during the annual Cinco de Mayo parade on South 24th Street on May 5, 2012.(CHRIS MACHIAN / THE WORLD-HERALD)
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READY, SET ... CINCO!

10 ways for Omahans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo
By Michael O'Connor
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER


Friday's inclement weather has prompted the in this weekend's Cinco de Mayo events, according to CincoDeMayoOmaha.com:

• Friday evening's Queen Coronation has been postponed until 12 p.m. Saturday.

• Friday evening's kickoff concert has been postponed until 2 p.m. Saturday.

• Friday evening's carnival has been cancelled.

• The golf tournament, originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Miracle Hills Golf Course, has been postponed until May 19.

For a full schedule of events, click here.

-- Updated: 11:25 a.m. CDT, 05/03

Omaha is a great place to experience the Mexican culture and heritage celebrated on Cinco de Mayo. The city's annual parade and festival, along with South Omaha shops, restaurants and a Latino museum, provide real flavor. So give these a try:

What are we celebrating?

Cinco de Mayo commemorates an important battle won by the Mexican army.

Here are the details from cincodemayoomaha.com:

In 1862, after being an independent nation for more than 40 years, Mexico was heavily in debt to Spain, England and France.

France, in an attempt to build its empire, used the outstanding debt as a reason to send troops to Mexico with the intention of capturing Mexico City and taking over rule of the country.

A well-outfitted French army of 6,500 soldiers landed on the Gulf Coast of Mexico and began marching toward Mexico City. On May 5, 1862, they were met in Puebla, Mexico, by Mexican Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza and a poorly armed band of 4,500 Mexican soldiers.

Gen. Zaragoza's army defeated the French.

No. 1: Check out Mexican artwork

El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St., showcases Latino art and history. The exhibition “The Art of Puebla” has a direct connection to Cinco de Mayo. The exhibit features a selection of traditional pottery known as talavera from the State of Puebla, where Mexican soldiers fought that battle commemorated on Cinco de Mayo.

No. 2: Watch a parade

Marching bands and floats will be part of the annual Cinco de Mayo parade from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The parade starts at 24th and D Streets and runs to 24th and M Streets. The parade is a highlight of the weekend's festivities in South Omaha.

No. 3: Listen to Latin music

La Tropa Vallenata will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Plaza de la Raza, 25th and N Streets. Admission is free. Grammy-nominated Los Terribles del Norte will take the Plaza de la Raza stage for a free performance at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Mariachi bands and other local groups will be playing in South Omaha throughout the weekend.

No. 4: Sample Mexican food

Authentic Mexican food offered Saturday and Sunday at La Plaza de la Raza, 25th and N Streets. The food is cooked and served fresh by members of the South Omaha community. You can also try such local restaurants as El Dorado, 5134 S. 24th St., and Taqueria Tijuana, 5139 S. 24th St.

No. 5: Try Mexican pastries

Get a cup of coffee and sample some pastries in South Omaha. The International Bakery, 5106 S. 24th St., has fresh treats such as semitas, which can have fillings like jam.

No. 6: Mix music and Mass

A mariachi Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Sunday at 25th and N Streets. The outdoor Mass will feature liturgical music led by a mariachi band.

No. 7: Help kids learn about Cinco de Mayo

The Omaha Public Library carries children's books with a Cinco de Mayo theme. Here are a couple to try:

• “Cinco de Mayo,” by Leia Tait. Explores the history, people and culture behind the celebration.

• “Cinco de Mouse-O!,” by Judy Cox. A mouse experiences the sights and smells of a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

No. 8: Buy pottery

World of Mexican Pottery, 4911 S. 24th St., carries clay pottery and garden planters ranging from small decorative center pieces to large-scale planters.

No. 9 Test your dance moves

Dance banda, a type of dance and music similar to country, during the weekend. Guaca Maya Restaurant, 5002 S. 33rd St., will feature banda dancing to a live band starting at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

No. 10: Make a pinata

There are a couple of ways to make a pińata at home. The first uses a papier-māché technique, which takes a few days to complete but provides a stronger, more traditional pinata. For a quick pińata, use a paper bag. See Omaha.com for ideas and instructions.

No. 11: Sip a margarita

• 1 oz premium tequila
• ½ oz triple sec
• 2 oz lime juice, fresh-squeezed
• 2 teaspoons sugar or agave nectar
• Kosher salt (optional)
• Lime wedge (optional)
• Crushed ice or ice cubes

Preparation: Place the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, sugar and ice into a shaker and shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds to help dissolve the sugar. Pour the salt into a flat plate. Use a lime wedge to rub the rim of the glass, then quickly place it rim-side down into the plate of salt. Pour the margarita over ice into the salt-rimmed glass. Garnish the glass with the lime wedge.

Sources: CincoDeMayoOmaha.com; About.com

Contact the writer: Michael O'Connor

michael.oconnor@owh.com    |   402-444-1122    |  

Michael is a general assignment reporter for the Living section, covering a mix of topics including human interest stories.


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