COLDWATER – To promote and celebrate the Hispanic culture in Branch County, Tibbits will be hosting a Cinco de Mayo celebration from 12-5pm May 5 complete with music, dance, an exhibit of flags and a film about the fight for Democracy which the day honors.
After a procession of 20 Latin flags, which will be put on display with informational cards about each country and their flag, El Ballet Folklorico Estudiantil will begin the celebration with a performance on stage at 12pm. This student group combines traditional mariachi music and dance to create performances that have been seen all over the Midwest as well as nationally and internationally. Their mission is to increase awareness and preservation of the Hispanic cultural heritage and to enhance self-determination and confidence among residents in the Hispanic communities.
Around 2pm, the stage will transform back to the movie era when “Cinco de Mayo, La Batalla” shows on the big screen. This movie chronicles the bravery of a people pushed to the limit, fighting for their nation, their families and their pride. On May 5th, 1862, a few thousand Mexican soldiers put their lives on the line against the world's largest and most powerful army in one legendary battle for freedom and for Mexico. “Cinco de Mayo, La Batalla” chronicles the story of Mexico's Battle of Puebla, the most important battle in Mexico's history. When the unbeatable French army invades Mexico to set up a monarchy, General Ignacio Zaragoza must defend the city of Puebla, commanding a poorly armed and outnumbered troop of men.
The final event of the celebration features the musical group Café Con Leche, with Denise Archer on Paraguayan harp, the national instrument of Paraguay. In the state of Veracruz, Mexico, the harp is the soul of folk music and dance. Miguel Espinosa will join Archer on quatro and acoustic guitars. Rene Meave, who helped organize this celebration, will emcee the event.
Tibbits Executive Director Christine Delaney said, “Last year Tibbits celebrated ‘We Are Coldwater’ focusing on many of the nationalities or cultures in our community. We have also held activities exploring the Arab culture. This year we wanted to share the Latino culture.” She continued, “Cinco de Mayo is meant to honor and celebrate the fight for Democracy. We saw an opportunity to share the true story of the holiday, while also experiencing the music and dance of the Mexican community.”
All of the performances are free thanks to the generous support of Altrusa International of Branch County and the Branch County Community Foundation. Small intermissions will occur between each of the activities and guests are welcome to come for the full day or enjoy any part of activities. A cash bar featuring margaritas will be available at the Ghostlight Bar in the elevator lobby. All events will be held at the historic Tibbits Opera House at 14 S. Hanchett St in Coldwater, MI. Please visit Tibbits.org for a complete listing of shows and events.