It's Cinco de Mayo, a day to celebrate Mexican-American culture and its many contributions.
It is not, as is commonly believed, Mexican Independence Day. That's September 16th.
The original significance of Cinco de Mayo was to commemorate the victory of the Mexican militia over the French Army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It signifies a triumph over great adversity, and has been adopted as an unofficial cultural holiday by Mexican-Americans. (Outside of the state of Puebla and Puebla, Puebla - where the battle was fought - Cinco de Mayo is not very widely celebrated in Mexico.)
Like St. Patrick's Day, Oktoberfest, and Columbus Day (controversy aside), Cinco de Mayo honors the Mexican contribution to the American cultural landscape. Also like the aforementioned days, it's a big ol' excuse to whoop it up.
Now, I know that there's a pretty hot debate going on in this country regarding Mexican immigration, and, I don't believe it's a debate that should be ignored. However, I believe that it's a debate that can be set aside for a day or two while we reflect upon the many positive things brought to this country from Mexico: exotic food, beautiful music, lively dancing, and, perhaps my favorite contribution, Salma Hayek. (VIVA MEXICO!)
So go out today and take in a little bit of Mexican-American culture. (Taco Bell does not count!)
We can go back to politics on Monday.
Producer/Director/Choreographer/Actress/Singer Nancy Goodwin passed away on Thursday after a hard-fought battle with breast cancer. The loss to the Denver theatre community is significant. Denver Theatre critic and columnist, John Moore wrote a very nice tribute here, and many Denver performers have added their remembrances of Nancy here. There will be a celebration of Nancy Goodwin on Sunday night in the Caboose at the Denver Chophouse at 19th and Wynkoop downtown from 7pm to 10pm. All are invited.
Here is a link to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for those of you who are as frustrated as I am by the ravages of this terrible disease, and want to know if there's anything that you can do to help.
In happier news, Shane Bernier has now received over 125,000 birthday cards from warm-hearted people all over the world. There's still 24 days until Shane's 8th birthday on May 30th. Keep those cards rolling in. Here's a site where you can check on the progress of the birthday card campaign and read a little more about Shane.
Finally, a quick reminder: 365 Days/365 Plays needs readers, actors, or just warm bodies for Week #26 here in Denver. More here.