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Cinco de Mayo Celebrations Began In The Mother Lode

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It’s a fact. The first documented Cinco de Mayo celebration in the USA was held 153 years ago in Columbia, California.

The President of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Gary Neubert, was Thursday’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 spontaneous 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 153nd anniversary of Cinco de Mayo in Columbia?

Neubert said, “No. We tried to stir interest a few years ago during the 150th anniversary and for the most part, people here just don’t find it to be a big deal. The town will probably be fairly quiet”

However, Columbia will be loud and busy this weekend. The annual Firemen’s Muster will take place both Saturday and Sunday with numerous events planned.

Neubert also said that the state of commerce in Columbia is much stronger than just a few years ago and he is looking forward to a new Farmers Market (that begins on Thursday of next week) and numerous signature events that will be held each week during Columbia’s busiest time of the year, from May through September.

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.

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