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VALLEY NEWSWATCH / A SPECIAL REPORT: CINCO DE MAYO

May 05, 1997|Frank B. Williams

Viva Mexico: Though it's now become a festive day for families to spread a blanket and bask in the May sunshine, Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates the May 5, 1862, victory of an undermanned Mexican army against French soldiers. The Mexican army, joined by the people of the small town of Puebla, simply outdid a larger French force.

Victory Talk: The Cal State Northridge campus will be buzzing with entertainment and food today. The university's Chicano studies department sponsors a festival celebrating and examining Cinco de Mayo from 10 to 2 p.m. Students and faculty representatives will speak on the day's significance at the University Student Union from noon to 5 p.m.

Tasty Meals: One of the benefits of Cinco de Mayo, besides celebrating a great battle, is the chance to binge on spicy meals. At La Parrilla restaurant in Northridge, there will be specials on traditional holiday fixings like mole and parrillada. Another meal is prepared in a rocklike container called a molcajete. "They heat up the rock and cook the meat in the middle of it," says Liliana Rosas, La Parrilla manager.

Let's Dance: And at San Fernando High School, a noontime luncheon will feature performances by the school band and its folklorico group. The luncheon is a fund-raiser for a scholarship named in honor of Hilda Capote, a former Spanish teacher at the school. Bilingual coordinator Blanca Hernandez said the event is "a way of expressing our history and culture while giving students a chance to have fun."

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