Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Chicago

It has been a while since I last posted, but I am back to tell you where to celebrate the next big holiday in Chicago. Historically, Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the victory of Mexico over France in the battle of Puebla in 1862. This holiday, however, is more popular in the United States than in Mexico. Why? Changing demographics and the enormous repercussion this victory had on the outcome of the U. S. Civil War. Some historians state that had Mexico not defeated the French in Puebla, France would have gone to the aid of the Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War and the United States’ destiny would have been different. Nowadays, Cinco de Mayo’s historical significance got lost in time and the holiday is more of a cultural celebration of everything Mexican and and an excuse to party than anything else. 

Chicago holds one of the largest Mexican-American communities in the country and the city offers many choices to celebrate on May 5. However, out of all those options, my recommendation is to network and socialize with a great organization that will be hosting a huge Mexican-American celebration in Chicago: the Cinco de Mayo event put on by HispanicPro at the Godfrey Hotel. HispanicPro is the premier networking organization for Hispanic professionals in Illinois and the largest producer of networking events targeting the Hispanic professional community in Chicago. It’s free to join, you get access to some of the coolest venues in Chicago and meet interesting people from different professions. I was invited to their April event at Ronero, and while enjoying some light food and beverages, I had an interesting conversation with the president of the Chicago Symphony Latino Alliance (CSLA). CSLA is another great organization that hosts pre Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert networking events with special guest artists who give insights into the evening’s concert. I learned a lot about their membership (it’s free!) and some of the interesting events they offer. If HispanicPro hadn’t invited me to their professional event, I would never have learned about this unique experience from CSLA. HispanicPro functions are not only great for networking, professional tips, and discovering unique opportunities, they’re also festive events to attend. The music and the conga player at the end of the event I attended had many of us going to the networking floor and turning it into a dance floor. This organization definitely strikes the perfect balance between function and fun. If you want to find out more about them and their upcoming Cinco de Mayo event, visit their website.

A couple of days later, on May 7 at noon, head to the Cinco de Mayo Parade in Little Village, one of the signature Mexican neighborhoods in Chicago and home to more people of Mexican ancestry than any other community in the Midwest. It is one of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the city. The parade goes from Cermak Rd. and Damen Ave to Marshall Blvd. By the way, did you know that Little Village retail strip is the second highest grossing shopping district in Chicago after glamourous Michigan Avenue? Now that you know, on Cinco de Mayo, let’s raise our Margaritas and make a toast for the brave Mexican and Mexican-American people who contributed and keep contributing to the greatness of the United States of America.

 

 

My picks for tonight: Healing Arts Festival and Peruvian-Mexican Fundraising event

It is Saturday, and you may be thinking about a good plan to enjoy this fabulous Supermoon evening. If you need ideas, let me suggest a couple of things that you probably have never done. How about going to an event that celebrates the Spring Equinox, the full moon, and the largest moon of 2011 with cool music and healing workshops? If you are curious, then come and recharge your soul, mind, and body with the first ever Healing Arts Festival tonight at MultiKulti in the Wicker Park neighborhood (1000 N Milwaukee). There will be  healing workshops from 6 to 9 pm and later that night, you get the chance to hear the newest band to hit Chicago with their Rumba Reggae Fusion: Nu Bambu.  For more information about this event, click here.

If you rather do something around good food, dance performances, help a good cause, and go to bed early,  then come to a Peruvian-Mexican fundraising event (also in Wicker Park) that a Loyola student is organizing to raise funds to go back to school. It runs from 6 to 10pm. The ticket costs $15 and includes a Mexican-Peruvian 4 course menu and Peruvian Folk dance, music and Breakdance performances. The group I belong to, Peruvian Folk Dance center, will be performing at 8:30 pm. For more information about this event, click here or call 773.673.7292

Have a wonderful Saturday!