M’ville Cinco de Mayo draws hundreds

MARYSVILLE — Marysville’s third annual Cinco de Mayo celebration took place May 8 in the Totem Middle School cafeteria, and the students who started it were there to see their efforts turned into an institution.

Jessica Tapia and Maribel Montes are 17-year-old 11th-graders who serve as heads of the coordinating committee for the Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Tapia got the ball rolling as a ninth-grader and she credited both Montes and one of her teachers with helping orchestrate the event.

“We thought of having this as a one-time thing,” Tapia said, “but it just started going on and on.”

Tapia and Montes agreed that organizing the event has been a learning curve, as they’ve tried to estimate how many people might attend each year, and even found themselves rushing to obtain decorations the night before. Tapia has noticed a steady increase in attendance since the first year, which she estimated drew close to 100 attendees, with more than 300 attending last year. Montes expressed her gratitude to the various organizations throughout the community that have come together to help stage activities during the event.

Children like 8-year-old Katie Felix could color drawings, while families such as Silvia and Guillermo Segoviano could join others, like Jacquelin and Maria Zepeda, in enjoying generously portioned plates of Hispanic cuisine. Los Parranderos de la Sierra served as the event’s band for a second year in a row, while local Hispanic students sang and danced for the audience. At the same time, attendees of all ages were able to learn Zumba dancing, while their children played games such as soccer and swung for pinatas.

This was the first year that Marysville resident Lucera Lucerro-Torres and his family attended the community Cinco de Mayo celebration.

“My sister-in-law told me about it,” said Lucerro-Torres, who brought his three children. “Everything’s great about it. It’s a perfect place for both kids and adults. The kids like the music the most.”

Arlington resident Wallace Blake and his family were attending for the first time was well.

“There are a lot more people than I expected,” said Blake, who heard about the event from a family friend. “It’s got good food, and it’s nice to do something related to Hispanic culture, since my wife and her family are Spanish.”

“I like everything here,” said Julia Blake, Wallace’s wife. “I’m happy when people remember Cinco de Mayo.”

“It’s the best free event I’ve been to in a long time,” Wallace Blake said.

Marysville mom Mayra Gomez has brought her family for all three years of the event. This year, that included her two children, her brother’s two children, her aunt and her cousin.

“This way, my kids don’t forget their culture,” Gomez said. “This celebration helps kids know their world. The kids like the food and the performances and the pinatas. This is a big day for Hispanic people.”

Marianne Pohl teaches English as a second language at Marysville Mountain View High School, but she lives in Bothell. In spite of the long drive, she and her two children have attended the community Cinco de Mayo celebration all three years.

“This is the largest turnout I’ve seen for this event,” Pohl said May 8. “My son loves playing soccer here, and my daughter loves the bouncy house and the pinatas. These kids get to hear different languages and make new friends, which is beneficial.”

“With the diversity of it, if you don’t like one thing, you’ll love another,” Montes said. “It’s a new experience where you get to meet new people, and that’s always great.”

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