Cars line up on West Vernor. Horns beep and bass shakes the neighborhood through the early night. People wave flags out of car windows. These are just a few signs that the Cinco de Mayo parade in southwest Detroit is on its way. This highly anticipated parade is the largest annual event celebrated in the community of southwest Detroit. Cinco de Mayo festivities have evolved from a one day parade to a series of celebrations stretching throughout the first week of May.
Since its beginning, generations ago, the Southwest Detroit Cinco de Mayo parade has been growing in size and popularity along with the growth of the local Latino population. Compared to only a decade ago, the parade is a huge version of its former self. Southwest Detroit residents and non-residents alike pack sidewalks along West Vernor to watch the parade during the first weekend in May. They enjoy watching Mexican bandas (bands) playing on parade floats, young break-dancers, lowrider bikes and cars, and school marching bands. Following the parade Clark Park has traditionally hosted a variety of festivities such as Mexican folkloric dance performances, music, art, and a sampling of local cuisine sold at booths.
This year the parade is incorporating several changes that will primarily affect the parade route and "official" activities after the parade. This year the parade will not begin at Patton Park as it has in the past... instead the parade will be two miles long, and will proceed down Vernor from Waterman to 24th Street in Southwest Detroit. Although there will not be activities at the end of the parade route as in the past, there is PLENTY to do before and after the parade throughout the neighborhood. Stay tuned to Inside Southwest Detroit for up-to-date information on events!
Check out the Inside Southwest Detroit Community Calendar for happenings:
Download the official 2010 Cinco de Mayo Parade Application:
Written by Carmen Mendoza-King for Inside Southwest Detroit