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Valley Roundup | Encino

3,000 Turn Out to Mark Cinco de Mayo at Market

May 03, 1999|ART MARROQUIN

The children waited patiently to take a whack at the pink papier-mache rooster dangling from a tree--a hit here, a miss there.

Samantha Mazur, 9, finally busted the creature open, spilling its contents of candy and trinkets onto the ground. Children scrambled to scoop up the goodies.

Mazur was one of more than 3,000 people who strolled through the Cinco de Mayo-themed farmers market Sunday on Victory Boulevard.

Cinco de Mayo marks the victory of the Mexican Army over French troops in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla.

"I liked smacking the pinata open and watching the candy fly," said Mazur of Oak Park. "It was a lot of fun."

As always, vendors' stands were filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and crafts. Proceeds from the market help support the Organization for the Needs of the Elderly, a community center for senior citizens in Encino.

Two mariachi groups--Mariachi Pavato and Juvenil Tenochtitlan--performed traditional songs such as "Cielito Lindo" while roaming through the market.

"I was lying in bed and saw the mariachis on TV, so I decided to come out and see all of it myself," said Pat Caudle, 36, of Encino, who was buying incense.

With the scent of tamales, burritos and tacos filling the air, the Los Angeles Culinary Institute held a demonstration of Mexican food preparation, and the American Cancer Society sponsored an art activity that encouraged healthful eating.

Long lines to buy Mexican food did not deter Karin Een of Encino from buying a tamale.

"This is a place in L.A. where different cultures get to interact," said Een, 37. "It creates a kind of tolerance that makes L.A. the diverse city that it is."

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