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Denver's Cinco de Mayo celebration has been canceled.EXPAND
Denver's Cinco de Mayo celebration has been canceled.
Brandon Marshall

Denver Cinco de Mayo Celebration Canceled

Colorado has banned all gatherings of fifty or more people for eight weeks in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, so it's no surprise that Denver's big Cinco de Mayo celebration has been called off.

For 32 years, NEWSED has organized this annual event, celebrating the Mexican Army's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. But this year, the organization has called a halt to the festivities in order to do its part to stop the spread of the virus.

Still, the decision comes at an enormous economic cost, says NEWSED CEO Andrea Barela: "The cancellation of the event will certainly have an immense ripple effect on everyone involved with bringing to life one of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the country: the many vendors and partners that exhibit and sell food and merchandise; the individuals who work tirelessly to staff the event, and supply portos, fencing, tents etc.; the musicians that provide entertainment; and certainly our organization, NEWSED Community Development Corporation, which has put in countless hours to prepare for a great event and depends on the funds raised to support our annual operating budget. We do not take lightly the potential hardship created by this decision and share in your disappointment."

Instead of congregating in public, Barela encourages people to celebrate the holiday in their own homes: "We look forward to seeing you in May 2021 when we will all celebrate together again."

Below is the full letter announcing the cancellation:

NEWSED has been dedicated to providing the best Cinco de Mayo experience in the country for the past 32 years. It has been an integral part of our work as an organization and our mission to serve the community. This will never change. Right now, all of us are experiencing an unprecedented situation that is very serious but is also making us remember what is most important, our health and the health of our community. We deeply regret to inform the community that the 2020 Denver Cinco de Mayo Festival will be canceled due to the directive of our city and state officials to cancel any gathering over 50 people for the next 8 weeks.

Like you, we are deeply concerned and want to do what we can to help keep our supporters, partners, communities and our families stay safe and healthy. The Cinco de Mayo Festival has been closely monitoring the evolution of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact. Safety is, and always has been, a top priority for the Cinco de Mayo Festival. As a result, we will be following the recommendations of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, and the newly revised recommended CDC guidelines. We are sad to share this cancellation, but feel it is the most responsible and safe decision to encourage social distancing and do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The cancellation of the event will certainly have an immense ripple effect on everyone involved with bringing to life one of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the country: the many vendors and partners that exhibit and sell food and merchandise; the individuals who work tirelessly to staff the event, and supply portos, fencing, tents etc.; the musicians that provide entertainment; and certainly our organization, NEWSED Community Development Corporation, which has put in countless hours to prepare for a great event and depends on the funds raised to support our annual operating budget. We do not take lightly the potential hardship created by this decision and share in your disappointment.

If you are an exhibitor that has already paid to participate in the event, we will be reaching out separately.

Regardless of this current situation, the staff and board of directors of NEWSED will continue to fulfill our mission and work together in an even more concerted effort to stay ahead of community need. NEWSED’s 47-year history has made us positive, proactive and resilient, and our love for our work keeps us moving ahead.

While this situation might be difficult in the moment the Cinco de Mayo festival’s main mission has always been to “Celebrate Culture” which means our Mexican holidays and traditions will continue. This May 5th celebrate the Battle of Puebla in your own way, in good health and spirit. Thank you to our incredible entertainers, sponsors, staff, vendors, exhibitors, volunteers, and supporters, we look forward to seeing you in May 2021 when we will all celebrate together again. 

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