Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican national holiday marking the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when outnumbered Mexican troops held off a French expeditionary force on its way to Mexico City. Several events are scheduled in the county this weekend to celebrate the holiday. Among them:
Today through Sunday: A free three-day festival with carnival rides, food, music and a soccer tournament starts today at La Palma Park, Harbor Boulevard and La Palma Avenue. Hours: 5 p.m. to midnight today; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Information: (714) 254-5191.
Saturday: A free festival featuring Mexican food, exhibits and live entertainment will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville. Information: (714) 361-8267.
San Juan Capistrano
Saturday: A free daylong celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the tennis courts near the county library in San Juan Capistrano, 31495 El Camino Real. The event will feature food, live entertainment, games and exhibits. Information: (714) 493-3984.
Sunday: A free street dance is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. There will be crafts, food booths, and live entertainment. Information: (714) 496-0882.
Saturday and Sunday: A free street fair and mariachi festival will be held from noon to 9 p.m. on 4th Street between French and Ross streets. Activities include mariachi music, food booths, games and dance exhibitions. Information: (714) 647-6556.
A second festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Centennial Park, at Edinger Avenue and Fairview Street. The event will feature carnival rides, games, food booths, exhibits, live entertainment and dance exhibitions. Admission is $5; free tickets are available at Viva supermarkets.
Today: Banning High School's Ballet Folklorico will perform for free at noon on the Student Center terrace. At 2 p.m., author, poet and critic Cherrie Moraga will lecture in the Crescent Bay Room of the Student Center. A free dance will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the Student Center terrace.
Saturday: A free catered picnic with pinatas and games will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Aldrich Park. Information: Contact the UCI Cross-Cultural Center, (714) 856-7215.