LANSING | Sunnybrook Elementary School District 171 will host its first Cinco de Mayo Celebration and Cultural Fair from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Heritage Middle School, 19250 Burnham Ave., according to a news release.
The event is free and open to the community as D.171 celebrates the heritage of its diverse student population. The district serves students in Lansing and Lynwood.
There will be light refreshments, student presentations and displays, student dance performances and a a take-home craft. The culminating event is traditional Spanish music, both vocal and instrumental activities, performed by the band Classic. There will also be a raffle sponsored by local businesses.
This event was planned by the district’s English Language Learner teachers Jolie Avant and Adelyn Curphey, the Cinco de Mayo planning committee, the English Language Learner Parents Advisory Board volunteers, and Sunnybrook administration. About 25 students from both Nathan Hale and Heritage will be performing on Monday.
According to www.brittanica.com, Cinco de Mayo, which is Spanish for fifth of May, is also known as the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. It is celebrated as a national holiday in Mexico in honor of a military victory on May 5, 1862, by Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza's troops over the French forces of Napoleon III. About 1,000 French troops were killed.
Although the fighting continued and the French were not driven out for another five years, the victory at Puebla became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign domination. The city, which was later renamed Puebla de Zaragoza, is the site of a museum devoted to the battle, and the battlefield itself is maintained as a park, according to the website.