“You will not find a more authentic and colorful way to celebrate this year’s Cinco de Mayo,” says Blanca Martínez, who is the organizer of the fourth annual Festival Latino de Cinco De Mayo in Bluffton, S.C.
The event has grown over the years, surpassing organizers’ expectations, she says.
“We are certain there were over 2,500 attendees at last year’s event and this year we are bringing entertainment like no other,” says Martínez. “This year our ‘Pequeños Gigantes’ [a kids' singing contest based on the Latin television show of the same name] has drawn a lot of attention. We have contestants as far as Atlanta for a chance to win the title of the ‘Pequeños Gigantes,’ which includes a $700 cash prize.”
For the first time, this Cinco de Mayo celebration will feature Vagon Chicano, a northern regional music group originally from Cedral, San Luis Potosí, Mexico. They have reached the Top Latin Albums chart on Billboard and offer a fun and energetic show.
Make sure to wear your dancing shoes, because the day will offer four musical acts and folkloric dance presentations.
“The most fascinating thing about Latin America is the vast amount of people and diverse cultures that it encompasses,” says Martínez. “They are all under the same mother tongue and under the same umbrella when it comes to language, but yet, the customs and art are so diverse. This is the reason we have included all of our Latin American brothers and sisters to take part in the event.”
Chamoyadas and tacos will be at hand on this Cinco de Mayo celebration, plus Puerto Rican pinchos and treats from Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia, to name a few countries.
“Latin American people love to celebrate, and it makes so much sense for us to include all other Latin countries to celebrate their culture and heritage alongside the Cinco de Mayo festivities. Food is the highlight for many and it is also a uniting factor,” says Martínez.
“In the spirit of growth and innovation, we are bringing the public a plethora of activities for the teens and kids, from face painting to riding the inflatable bull. We also have a performance by Rockola, a Latin pop band that will make everyone dance regardless of age. Robotics students from Bluffton High School are bringing their designs to not only inspire younger kids in the technology field, but to answer questions about their robotic and technological creations. They have won awards at a state level and are motivated to share their knowledge,” says Martínez.
“My goal is to inspire. I am a teacher and an educator by trade and I cannot imagine a more traditional and genuine way to show others what our culture is all about. From the Aztecs to the Mayans to the Argentine Andes — you can learn about it all in one place during Festival Latino de Cinco De Mayo.”