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Columbia, CA: Birthplace Of Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

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The first ever Cinco de Mayo celebration in the U.S.A., was held 155 years ago in Columbia, California.

Gary Neubert, Board Director with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, was Friday’s “Newsmaker of the Day”.

According to Neubert, that very 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.

After word reached Columbia, via newspapers from San Francisco, 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 in Columbia today for the 155th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo?

Neubert said, “No. Interest in Columbia being the home of Cinco de Mayo celebrations seems to be very low. We tried to stir interest a few years ago during the 150th anniversary and for the most part, residents 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 this weekend with numerous events planned, beginning tonight.

Additionally, Columbia is gearing up for another busy summer with numerous events planned over the next several months.

For more information about the Columbia Chamber and the 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 at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.

  • Columbia, CA