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Valley ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

May 02, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — To celebrate Mexico's decisive rout of the French Army on May 5, 1862, Imperial Valley residents will gather together this weekend for Cinco de Mayo house parties, special events at neighborhood bars — tequila shots anyone? — and community gatherings.

In Calexico the festivities kick off at 6 p.m. Friday with a beauty pageant and cultural arts performances in Calexico High School's Varner Gym.

The event is sponsored by the Calexico High Mecha chapter.

The highlight of the evening, according to CHS social science instructor Eric Reyes, will be the pageant.

He said five CHS beauties will compete for the title of queen. The anxious five were selected from a field of 12 contestants.

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After the queen is crowned, there will be a mariachi performance and a DJ will spin some tunes. The shebang ends at midnight.

It will cost $3 to join in the fun but Reyes said the money will go to a good cause.

The amount of scholarship money the queen gets "depends on how much money we make that night," he said.

In addition to the scholarship money, the queen will get to represent the Mecha chapter at community events such as Saturday's Cinco de Mayo party sponsored by the 20-30 Club.

Club stalwart Joe Vindiola said the party starts at 4 p.m. and winds up at 10 p.m.

"Unless it blows away," he said.

Barring a gale force wind scattering everything and everyone about, there will be music, dancing, food and vendors selling all sorts of goods at Crummet Park.

The 20-30 Club is selling the beer and the Elks Lodge will be selling food.

"Entry is free. Come to the park. You're going to be thirsty," he said.

The 20-30 Club's party is going to be Calexico's only big Cinco de Mayo celebration because the Chamber of Commerce is "gearing up" for the upcoming mariachi festival, according to the chamber Executive Director Hildy Carrillo-Rivera.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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