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Celebrating Columbia The Birthplace Of U.S. Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

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Columbia, CA — Columbia is the birthplace of the first Cinco de Mayo celebration in the U.S., which dates back 161 years to 1862.

This distinction is according to research conducted and then a paper written by UCLA scholars, who detailed that when the large Latino population of the community (16,229 living in Tuolumne County by 1860) found out about Mexico’s defeat of the French Army in the Battle of Puebla, Mexico, a spontaneous celebration of pride, passion and patriotism broke out.

In honor of this heritage and to find out more about this rich history, head to Columbia State Historic Park on Friday, May 5, from 5-10 p.m. to join in street dancing with live music performed by the Mario Flores Latin Jazz Band and Rod Harris on saxophones. Then on Saturday, May 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the party continues with live mariachi music, a Latin music DJ and folkloric dance performances. There will also be a food court and vendors featuring arts and crafts from Latino culture. The event is free to the public, as is parking.