Cinco de Mayo marks 8th year in Marysville

Marichis Mi Pais performs at the eighth annual Cinco de Mayo celebration at Totem Middle School on May 3. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marichis Mi Pais performs at the eighth annual Cinco de Mayo celebration at Totem Middle School on May 3.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville community’s Cinco de Mayo celebration marked its eighth year in a row on Friday, May 2, in the Totem Middle School cafeteria and gymnasium, with appearances from community dignitaries including Marysville School District Superintendent Dr. Becky Berg and Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, the latter of whom delivered opening remarks for the event that touched upon the sense of community and inclusiveness that he believes events such as Cinco de Mayo help to foster in Marysville.

“I thought it was fantastic,” said Nehring, who also let attendees know about the city’s Diversity Advisory Committee booth at the evening’s event. “Many members of the Diversity Advisory Committee were actually in attendance, so we encouraged the community to check out their booth. It was also great to see all the kids getting to climb around on the police and fire vehicles, and getting to know our police and fire personnel. And I had to thank the event’s organizers for the great food that my family and I enjoyed that night.”

While the complimentary Mexican food was prepared by Marysville School District food service students in the School House Café program, music and entertainment were provided by Marichis Mi Pais and other area groups, including a crew of breakdancers from the Marysville Family YMCA, made up of students from Marysville Middle School and Marysville Getchell High School.

“Free food and our band are always big hits,” said Marjorie Serge, who has coordinated the Cinco de Mayo celebration with Wendy Messarina Volosin and Jim Strickland since its inception, and is part of the city’s Diversity Advisory Committee. “The kids’ activities are always pretty popular too, whether it’s playing soccer or breaking piñatas in the gym, or Molina Healthcare with its stationary blender bike and its mascot, Dr. Cleo.”

Molina Healthcare’s unique stationary bike allows guests to make themselves frozen non-alcoholic drinks, by working up a sweat through pedaling as fast as they can.

Messarina, also a Diversity Advisory Committee member, emceed this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration with the assistance of Ada Garza, the Spanish liaison at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, who served as an interpreter. Messarina and Serge thanked the Marysville Rotary, the Marysville YMCA, Molina Healthcare, the Marysville Free Methodist Church and Marysville Ford for monetary donations which allowed the event to be free to all attendees again this year.

“It’s always a challenge raising money, but it’s so rewarding seeing people coming together for food and music, especially when it’s free for them to enjoy,” Serge said. “I also think a lot of families get information at Cinco de Mayo, about the services that are available to them, that they might not get otherwise. I hope it gives them a feeling of inclusion in our community. For our community to appreciate how wonderful our diversity is, we need to get together and celebrate each other’s cultures.”

“We do need more donors for next year,” Messarina said. “We could also use more students and families with talents, such as singing and dancing, that they’re willing to perform.”

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