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Cinco de Mayo Celebrations Began In Columbia

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The first documented US based Cinco de Mayo celebration was held 150 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 150th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo in Columbia?

Neubert said, “There is no official event scheduled yet, however we’re working on ideas and should do something to recognize this historical day.

We do want to commerate this event. May 5th is on a Saturday this year and the annual Fireman’s Muster will also be held that same weekend.

Ideally, we would like to hold an intrepretive event and perhaps there could be some sort of re-enactment of the event. I think the regional and even national media would be interested in the 150th anniversary as well.”

Neubert welcomes any suggestions and would like to hear from those who would be interested in participating in a interpretive event. Neubert can be reached at (209) 536-1672.

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

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