MASCOTTE — In Mascotte, the annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration not only honors the 1862 victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla, it champions the community’s spirit and diversity.
The strong Hispanic influence in the small city of less than 5,000 residents aids in the planning for the city’s largest event. Local residents work diligently to provide the most authentic experience for the celebration.
“We bring the cultures that represent Mascotte together for a time of cultural understating and sensitivity,” said Felix Ramirez, local resident and chairman of the celebration committee.
The 2006 Cinco de Mayo Celebration in Mascotte is on Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the old elementary site, located at 513 Albrook St. The event features live entertainment, cultural exhibits and authentic Mexican fare.
“This is truly a cultural event because we have a marketplace with authentic merchandise people can buy and we have cultural exhibits that people can meander about and look at,” Gwen Keough, Deputy City Clerk for Mascotte.
According to event organizers, the live entertainment tends to be the highlight of the celebration. Bands playing a festive Hispanic sound often travel from South Florida and the Miami area for this Mascotte-sponsored event. However, it depends on who you seek advice from. Others claim the food is the real draw.
“The food is absolutely awesome. It is unbelievable,” Keough said. “Last year I had a couple burritos, a wrap mixed with veggies and spices, and Mexican flan for dessert.”
There’s little disagreement that the Mascotte Cinco de Mayo Celebration is a family oriented event. The celebration features many activities for children including piñatas and inflatable playground equipment.
“This is a family oriented festivity and it is basically free where other Cinco de Mayo festivals you have to pay to get in,” Ramirez said. “We’re going to have a good time with excellent music, excellent cultural exhibits and excellent food.”
For more information, call the City of Mascotte at (352) 429-3341 or log on to www.cityofmascotte.com.