Cinco de Mayo festivities, featuring food, games, entertainment, carnival rides and exhibits will be held throughout the Southeast area beginning today and continuing through the May 11-15 Pan American Fiesta in Lakewood.
The May 5 holiday commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862, in which outnumbered Mexican troops defeated the forces of Napoleon III, marking the end of French intervention in Mexico. Activities will take place in the following cities:
Commerce--A celebration presented by the Department of Parks and Recreation will include food and game booths, carnival rides, a boxing exhibition and Mexican folk dancing as well as music from the 1950s and '60s from noon to 6 p.m. today at Bristow Park, 1466 S. McDonnell Ave. Information: 722-4805.
Compton--A fiesta featuring mariachis, folkloric dancers, pinatas, picnic-style games, concession booths, artists demonstrating their works, and musical groups and entertainers will be presented by the Parks and Recreation Department from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Wilson Park, 123 N. Rose Ave. Information: 537-8000.
Downey--Warren High School's Spanish Club will present Fiesta Day, including mariachis, folkloric dancers, a student fashion show of traditional Mexican costumes and the sale of Mexican pastries from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the school, 8141 De Palma St. The mariachi group Los Nobles and their folkloric dance troupe will perform at 10:30 and 11:15 a.m. in the gym. The events will be open to the public. Information: 869-7306.
Hawaiian Gardens--A celebration by the Department of Recreation will feature food, games, entertainment by a Mexican-style band, and leather and crafts displays from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Furgeson Elementary School, 22215 Elaine Ave. Information: 420-2641.
Huntington Park--The Chamber of Commerce will kick off its Cinco de Mayo Days celebration Tuesday with Dodger Night at Dodger Stadium, where a group of 32 folkloric dancers from Puebla, Mexico, will be introduced before the game. Buses will leave at 5 p.m. from the Recreation Center, 3401 E. Florence Ave. Tickets are $6. Reservations: 585-1155.
The internationally renowned dance troupe Ballet Costumbrista de Puebla, Mexico, will perform at a Fiesta Ball, including dinner, dancing and show, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday at the Elks Lodge, 3355 E. Gage Ave. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the lodge or chamber office, 2650 Zoe Ave.
Various celebrities will take part in the city's Cinco de Mayo Parade. The parade is sponsored by the Southeast Hispanic Business and Professional Assn. beginning at noon Sunday May 8 at Pacific Boulevard and Gage Avenue.
Lakewood--A Pan-American Fiesta sponsored by the Department of Recreation and Community Services, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and the Pan-American Assn. will be held May 12 through 15 at Mayfair Park, 5720 N. Clark Ave. Arts and crafts displays, food booths, carnival rides, and a variety of dance and musical performances will highlight the event. The carnival midway will be open from 3 to 11 p.m. May 12; 3 p.m. to midnight May 13; 11 a.m. to midnight May 14, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 15. Free community booths, entertainment and other activities will be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 14 and 15. Information: 866-9771, Ext. 408.
Lynwood--Jesse Aragon from the movie "Hollywood Shuffle" will emcee a Recreation Department-sponsored celebration including folkloric dancing and mariachis from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Lynwood Park, 3798 E. Century Blvd. There will also be food and game booths. Information: 603-0220.
Maywood--The Parks and Recreation Department will present a free show featuring mariachis, folkloric dancers, a magic show, a ventriloquist and Spanish singers from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Maywood City Park, 4801 E. 58th St. The event will be emceed by Don Pantaleon from radio station KTNQ. Information: 562-5020.
Norwalk--Activities during a weeklong celebration at Cerritos College, 11110 E. Alondra Blvd., will take place Tuesday through Saturday. International Day, open to students only, will feature pinatas, food, a disc jockey, live music and games from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday in the main quad. Mariachis, folkloric dancers, a poet, a singer, refreshments, student awards and speakers will be in the Student Center from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. The event is free and open to the public. There will be a dance in the Student Center on Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight. The event is open to the public, and there will be a $3 charge. The activities will end Saturday with a 5K walk-jog-run, which is open to the public for $5. Information: 860-2451, Ext. 471.
Santa Fe Springs--Recreation Services will sponsor a celebration presented by students from local schools beginning at 5 p.m. Friday at Town Center Plaza, 11740 E. Telegraph Road. The program will include dancing and singing, and there will be food booths. Information: 868-0511.
Whittier--A Cinco de Mayo celebration dance for those 60 years of age or older will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m Friday at the Whittier Senior Citizens Center, 13225 Walnut St. Entertainment will be provided by the Ray Hall Music Makers and Spanish dancers. The cost is $2.50. Information: 945-8283.