Cinco de Mayo celebrates Hispanic culture for seventh year | SLIDESHOW

MARYSVILLE — The local community's seventh annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration drew an estimated 600 volunteers to the Totem Middle School cafeteria and gymnasium on Friday, May 3, and generated approximately $2,900 from Marysville and Tulalip community members in the process.

"This event was started seven years ago by students who wanted to celebrate Hispanic culture," said Jim Strickland, teacher of the Life Skills program at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, who credited high school students in the Culinary Arts program with preparing the evening's meals of Mexican food.

Dr. Larry Nyland's nine years as the Marysville School District superintendent will come to a close at the end of this school year, and he counted the annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration among those events that have made it "an honor and a delight" to serve the school district and surrounding community.

"For seven years, this has gotten bigger and better every year," Nyland said. "It's wonderful that we can celebrate the richness of our diversity."

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring noted that Marjorie Serge and Wendy Messarina Volosin, who have coordinated the Cinco de Mayo Celebration with Strickland since its inception, are part of the city's Diversity Advisory Committee, whose next initiative is a "Diversity Fair" scheduled for Sept. 28.

"The Cinco de Mayo Celebration is always one of my favorite events here in Marysville," Nehring said. "As a city, we want to make sure our citizens know about all these great events that are going on in our community."

Strickland noted that several donors made Cinco de Mayo a free event again this year. Monetary donations came from the Marysville Rotary, the Marysville YMCA, Molina Healthcare, the Marysville Free Methodist Church and HomeStreet Bank, while in-kind and volunteer support was contributed by the Marysville School District, Molina Healthcare, Marysville Printing, Belmark Homes, the Mi Pais mariachi band, Sea Mar Community Health Center and various student groups.

Just as the food was prepared by Marysville School District food service students in the School House Café program, so too was music and entertainment provided by Mi Pais and other local groups.

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