Sunset Park showed off its Mexican pride.
On Sunday, May 7, two days after Cinco Mayo, Sunset Park’s Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street was permanently co-named Cinco de Mayo Place.
The renaming included a march led by dancers, several organizations, Councilmember Carlos Menchaca and children as well as adults dressed in festive attire. Festivities began at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 526 59th Street, and the party then made its way over to the park, where the official ceremony took place.
The ceremony also included entertainment by Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl, let by Benito Bravo and The REDES USA Choir, under the direction of Michelle Flores.
“Cinco de Mayo is an important historical commemoration for Mexican people everywhere and Cinco de Mayo offers a lesson for everyone here today,” said Menchaca in a statement, adding that the day wasn’t just a time for partying, but also a day of remembrance. “Cinco de Mayo honors valor, sacrifice and an improbable victory by Mexicans who were vastly outnumbered by French forces in the battle of Puebla on May 5, in 1862. As a proud Mexican-American, I hold up Cinco de Mayo as inspiration for our current resistance against injustice. This holiday offers a lesson in keeping faith, and taking action against any adversary no matter the odds.”
The history of the Battle of Puebla was also read by Sunset Park students Britney Espinoza, Manuel Martinez and Martin Gonzalez.
Councilmember Brand Lander, who was also in attendance for the festive event, called Cinco de Mayo “a fitting and important time to celebrate and stand in solidarity with the Mexican-American community.”
“I celebrate Cinco de Mayo as a day when we can all come together and recognize the contributions Mexican people make to our City and nation every day,” Menchaca added. “I dedicate my personal celebration of Cinco de Mayo this year to the struggle for the rights, dignity and safety of New York City’s immigrant communities.”
Other congratulations were offered by the Consul General of Mexico Diego Gómez-Pickering and Mexican American community leader Jaime Lucero, president of Casa Puebla New York.