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Historic Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade Returns

The Pico Youth & Family Center (PYFC), along with various local businesses, non-profits, churches, public schools, ballet folklorico dance troupes, classic car clubs, musicians and community members is hosting the Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade/Festival. The Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade/Festival is a historic event that existed in Venice in the early 1960’s, 1970’s & 80’s. This year’s event is scheduled for: Saturday, April 30th, 2016 from 10am to 6pm. The parade will begin at 10am on the corner of California Ave & Lincoln Blvd in Venice.

 

“PYFC is honored to work collaboratively with residents of Venice and Santa Monica to bring back a historic cultural event to Venice. Growing up in Venice I witnessed the Cinco de Mayo parade and festival of the past and I am excited to be a part of a team of people bringing this wonderful event back to our City,” stated Laura Ceballos, PYFC Board member and event chair.

 

The parade will transition into a colorful and empowering festival featuring food vendors, guacamole contest, information booths, live music and dance performances. LA City Councilman Mike Bonin and Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez will join other elected officials in celebrating the return of the historic event to Venice. The parade Grand Marshall UCLA professor Dr. David Hayes-Bautista , who recently completed a book on the history of Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the USA, will provide an educational overview of the events historic significance. The festival portion of the event will take place at Penmar Recreation Park1341 Lake Street, Venice, CA.

 

Event organizers have worked for months to put on a culturally significant event that distinguishes itself from the commercialized alcohol infused day that bars and restaurants will promote for the 5th of May. The traditional Cinco de Mayo event commemorates the Mexican people’s defeat of invading French forces in 1862. Cinco de Mayo events started in California to celebrate Mexican American history, heritage and cultural identity. “We hope to build community through an inclusive and culturally empowering, family-friendly event. Our goal is to engage all members of our diverse community to participate and celebrate in an event that promotes education, peace, unity, social justice, non-violence. This is a no drugs or alcohol event”, stated Venice resident and PYFC Board member Ruben Pacheco.

 

“At a time when low income residents, especially Latino and African American residents, are being pushed out of Westside communities due to gentrification we feel that unity, awareness and visibility is needed more than ever. Marginalization renders people invisible and an event like this can do a lot towards bringing communities together for a positive purpose,” stated PYFC founder Oscar de la Torre.

 

The Pico Youth & Family Center (PYFC) is a non-profit organization that provides culturally relevant and innovative programming to underserved youth.   For over 14 years PYFC’s model of direct services and advocacy has decreased gang membership and has transformed the way the City of Santa Monica approaches youth development. PYFC strives to promote peace, unity and social justice on a regional level by building positive community relations through culturally empowering events.

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