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Cinco de Mayo Celebrations Began In Columbia, CA

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The first documented US based Cinco de Mayo celebration was held 152 years ago in Columbia, California.

The President of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Gary Neubert, was Friday’s “Newsmaker of the Day”.

According to Neubert, that first celebration wasn’t even on the fifth of May. The news of the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla, took a few weeks to reach the Mother Lode.

Once word reached Columbia, via San Francisco newspapers, a spontanious celebration broke out on May 27th, 1862.

According to a paper published by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture about the origin of the observance of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, “Far up in the gold country town of Columbia (now Columbia State Park) Mexican miners were so overjoyed at the news that they spontaneously fired off rifles shots and fireworks, sang patriotic songs and made impromptu speeches.”

So will there be a celebration for the 152nd anniversary of Cinco de Mayo in Columbia?

Neubert said, “No. We tried to stir interest a couple of years ago during the 150th anniversary and for the most part, people here just don’t find it to be a big deal.”

Columbia will be busy this weekend, but for other reasons. The annual Firemen’s Muster will take place both Saturday and Sunday with numerous events planned. May 5th is on Monday and unlike 152 years ago, downtown Columbia may be fairly quiet.

For more information about the Columbia Chamber and the numerous Chamber sponsored events that take place in Columbia log onto

You can also call (209) 536-1672.

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.

  • Columbia, CA