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Cinco de Mayo joins two cultures (video)

By chirst
May 4, 2013 at 12:04 a.m.

Marialena Martinez, 3, performs with the youngest group of dancers from Ballet Folklorico de Goliad during the Zaragoza Cinco de Mayo celebration Saturday at the Goliad County Fairgrounds. The group shared the stage with a Ballet Folklorico group from Goliad's sister city in Mexico, Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon.

CINCO DE MAYO

WHAT: A ceremony honoring Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, the hero of the Battle of Puebla

WHERE: Presidio La Bahia in Goliad

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Sunday

COST: Free

GOLIAD - The 6-year-old boys blew their new toy trumpets as loud as they could, trying to make music like the mariachi bands on stage.

Brayden Dedear, lips and teeth bright red from his snow cone, said all the music was his favorite part of the Zaragoza Cinco de Mayo celebration in Goliad.

Brayden's grandmother, Margaret Dedear, brought her family of 10 to the Goliad celebration from Karnes City. She said coming to Goliad, the official site of Cinco de Mayo for the state of Texas, is well worth the hour drive.

"It is nice. It is real peaceful. Everyone knows everyone here, and I love it. I really like coming," said Dedear, a Goliad native, as she watched the Ballet Folklorico de Hidalgo dancers perform.

Edward Charles Garcia Sr., president of the Zaragoza Society, which is celebrating its 69th year, said a delegation of about 50 people from Hidalgo Mexico, Goliad's sister city, came for the celebration.

"They are a great asset to our fiesta. They bring dancers and their music - it is a friendship that bonds us through our heritage, and it is great to have them," Garcia said.

Hernan Jaso, a Zaragoza Society member who helped organize the event, said the festival can be difficult to put together, with the economy struggling, but he said Goliad is obligated to have a fiesta because of its heritage.

Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza - the hero who defeated the French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 - was born in what is now Goliad, which is why the Texas Legislature made the town the official site of the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Texas.

Goliad Mayor Jay Harvey said the city gave $1,200 from the Municipal Development District fund to pay for the hotel rooms of the delegates, which he said promotes tourism in Goliad.

"This is an international event between two countries, with this being the birthplace of Gen. Zaragoza," Harvey said. "Being the official spot in Texas, I think there is some obligation to support the Zaragoza Society in putting this on."

Jaso said the Zaragoza society depends heavily on sponsors, such as the city and H-E-B, to make the celebration happen.

"Without the sponsors, we are nothing. We are totally nothing," Jaso said, which is why the society looks for sponsors throughout the year.

With small carnival rides, food vendors, the delegation from Mexico and the performances, Jaso said there are plenty of ways to stay entertained throughout the weekend event.

"It is sharing our upbringing, sharing our roots, our blood. It is not all American blood. There is Hispanic blood that flows into our veins, too, and we are proud of that," Jaso said.

Related story:

Victoria: Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

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