Tyler Cinco de Mayo Celebration Draws Record Numbers

Each year Mexican Americans take the fifth day of May, or Cinco de Mayo to remember their history and culture.

Tyler's Cinco de Mayo party is growing faster than the City of Tyler itself. The celebration, which is hosted by the Hispanic American Association of East Texas, drew more than 4,000 people this year, with event coordinators saying the final tally could reach 5,000.

The festivities Sunday included traditional mexican cuisine, dancing, and rides for the kids.

The holiday is well known across the United States, but many people are unaware of the history behind Cinco de Mayo.

It was on May 5, when Mexican troops drove French soldiers from their homeland.

"We celebrate what's happened in the past," said U.S. Postmaster Fred Arrambidez. "Actually, we know that it had to do with the Mexicans defeating the French way back when."

"Alot of people confuse it with our Independence Day but its not," said Maria Armendariz.

Proceeds from the party, benefit the Hispanic American Association of East Texas. During the event, the association presented Superintendant Donald Gentry with a special service award for his work with hispanic children. In their ten years of existence, its the non-profits first year to give the award.