Groups hoping to make Cinco de Mayo regular event

Cinco de Mayo has become a major celebration across the United States in recent years, but it’s not even a national holiday in Mexico.

If a couple of local organizations have their way, however, the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration they put together May 5 will become a multicultural affair aimed at bringing the community together.

The Southern Indiana Center for the Arts organized the first Cinco de Mayo fiesta in 2015, and it was outside the first two years. This year’s fiesta was inside Girls Inc. of Jackson County on the northeast side of Seymour because of inclement weather.

But that didn’t keep people from attending.

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“I’m pleased with the turnout,” said Darnell Dukes, executive director of the arts center.

“We had a backup plan but didn’t want to use it,” she said. “I’m glad we had it.”

The first Cinco de Mayo event was planned by the arts center board as a cultural event for the community, Dukes said.

It was decided to organize a Cinco de Mayo celebration because of the growth of the Hispanic population in the area, Dukes said.

“We just thought it would be fun to have a celebration,” she said.

A second Cinco de Mayo celebration was planned by the arts center board in 2016. A separate celebration honoring mothers was organized by the Latino Council in 2016. The celebrations occurred at about the same time.

Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May of each year in the United States and May 10 in Mexico.

This year, the two organizations decided to come together and celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day at the same time, said Magda Posados with the Latino Council.

Mother’s Day is a big deal in Mexico, Posados said.

To celebrate Mother’s Day, children attending the Cinco de Mayo celebration could make Mother’s Day cards and complete other activities related to Mother’s Day.

The event also included other free crafts, face painting, a foil relief project and pictures with special photo props. Then to make the party even more diverse, a group of Japanese women helped children make origami cranes and soldier’s helmets.

Mother’s Day varies from year to year in Japan, but May 5 is always Children’s Day in Japan, Tomoya Miyazaki said.

Some of the Japanese children at the event with their mothers dressed in traditional Japanese dress. That went well with the main entertainment of the event, which was the traditional Mexican dance group, Ballet Folklorico of Columbus.

The event attracted Ceegee Mejia Perez and her children, including Arrianna, Anabel and Anthony.

“We just came out to eat some tacos and watch them dance,” Perez said.

Anabel said she liked the crafts but enjoyed the dancing more than anything else.