Cinco de Mayo has been celebrated in San Jose with a downtown parade since 1983. The celebration commemorates the Battle of Puebla better known as Cinco de Mayo. Thousands of people come to the downtown area to view the floats, colorful costumes, marching bands, drill teams, and assortment of decorated entries vying for first, second, or third place as they march past the judges at the review Grandstand. Celebrate with entertainment, food, booths, arts & crafts, and children’s stage. Parade location: Santa Clara & Market Streets, Downtown San Jose. Festival Location: Discovery Meadow, San Carlos St. and Woz Way, Downtown San Jose.
Since 1985, outdoor festival features six stages of musical entertainment, over 230 curbside booths selling tacos, traditional Mexican pasteries and other foods, arts and crafts and more. Plus a parade with schools, clubs, cultural group, businesses, famous people and civic organations participating. Also takes place on Market Street to the Almaden Boulevard between Santa Clara Street and San Carlos Street.
Cinco de Mayo officially commemorates the anniversary of an early victory by Mexican forces over French forces in the Battle of Pubela on May 5, 1862. It is not the anniversary of the defeat and expulsion of the French forces by the Mexicans, which occurred in 1867. It is also not, as is often assumed, the day of Mexico’s celebrations of independence, which are actually held on September 16. It is believed that the origins of Cinco de Mayo celebrations lie in the responses of Mexicans living in California in the 1860s to French rule in Mexico at that time.
San Francisco Cinco de Mayo Festival, FREE Family-Friendly Festival, Saturday, May 5th, Dolores Park, 10a.m.-5p.m.–short walk from 16th St. Bart Station. Bring picnic blanket and basket and enjoy the beatiful skyline, music, dance, arts/crafts children’s activities, and tour of historic Mission Dolores all in alcohol-free environment. Go to http://www.sfcincodemayo.com for more information.