Cinco de Mayo in Milwaukee

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Cinco de Mayo in Milwaukee

@Wes Iversen

@Wes Iversen

@Wes Iversen

Lily L., Off Campus

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Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated although the reason for the celebration is often misunderstood by Americans. Cinco de Mayo is not the day Mexicans gained independence as most assume, but it is the day that commemorates the date of the Mexican army’s victory against France at the Battle of Pueblo. Cinco de Mayo is mostly celebrated with food and parties. To carry on the celebration, restaurants and other businesses held festivals all around Milwaukee.

Milwaukee has a variety of different Mexican restaurants and many chose to have celebrations to mark the holiday even though it is a day that gets more attention in America than in Mexico. For example, the Silver City taco trucks kicked off the weekend on May 3rd. Many food trucks congregated at the parking lot of Velobahn Coffee & Cycle at 3618 W. Pierce St. They return to this same spot monthly throughout the summer, but they kick off on May 3rd for the Cinco de Mayo weekend. DJ Abu Pablo, the founder of The DJ Collective, was there playing Afro-Latino music. Another food celebration was found at BelAir Cantina. On Saturday and Sunday, they sold tacos for two dollars and Cinco de Mayo themed drinks. The BelAir on Downer Avenue also promoted ticket raffles and giveaways for concerts like Chainsmokers and Summerfest. There was live music there as well.

Some places chose to host their celebrations around selling food for consumption, but others chose a new way to share Cinco de Mayo. The Milwaukee Public Market decided to hold a cooking class in which the students learn to cook Pork Carnitas with Roasted Tomato Salsa,  Arroz Poblano, which is like rice with chiles and corn, and Bien me Sabe, which is a type of Latin Coconut Cake with Meringue. Chef Staci Joers was the chef leading the class. The class took place on April 29th at 5:30. It cost $30 to reserve a spot. The goal of the demonstration was to teach the different foods and history of Mexico. These are some of the foods that have defined Mexican cuisine. Another more interesting celebration of Cinco de Mayo took place on a cruise. Edelweiss, a boat tour company, started cruises Saturday and Sundays in May just in time for Cinco de Mayo. The cruises were held on on the Milwaukee River at 3:30. It cost $25 to go, but that price included a one and a half hour boat ride, complimentary tacos, and complimentary drinks. Cruising with friends was definitely a new Cinco de Mayo tradition in Milwaukee.

Lastly, while some new customs were established, other more traditional parties were not being left out of the picture. Milwaukee’s District on Water was not kept out of the Cinco de Mayo loop. They had their party on Sunday, May 7 at 3:00 pm. There were Latino dancing, DJs, 2 dollar tacos, and they revealed their newest remodel. Then there was also the family festival. This is the most genuine Cinco de Mayo celebration in Milwaukee. There were mariachi bands and dancers. Another cool attraction is all the contests that will be happening, such as a car show, a chile eating contest, and a beauty contest.

Milwaukee is a party city, and Cinco de Mayo is well celebrated in it. Food is one-way people chose to celebrate the holiday. Other people chose to try new things like cruises and cooking classes. Meanwhile, some people think traditional festivals are the way to go. Each party is a new fun way to celebrate the Mexican holiday with many perks and upsides.

References

Noennig, Jordyn. “A Chihuahua Beauty Contest, Latino Music and Margaritas. Here Are 5 Ways To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Milwaukee.” Journal Sentinel. JSOnline, 2 May 2019. www.jsonline.com/story/entertainment/2019/05/02/cinco-de-mayo-milwaukee-celebrated-tacos-and-margaritas/3640226002/

“Cinco de Mayo: Taco ‘Bout a Fiesta” Milwaukee Public Market. Milwaukee Public Market, n.d. milwaukeepublicmarket.org/classes/cinco-de-mayo

“Cinco de Mayo” History. A&E Television Networks, LLC. 3 May 2019. www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo

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