This weekend we celebrate Cinco de Mayo and kick off the Patchogue Alive on the River celebrations. Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th, the Patchogue riverfront restaurants Drift82, The Oar, Harbor Crab, Dublin Deck and Off Key Tikki will be celebrating Cinco deMayo, with discounted drink specials and live music. The two-day kick-off event will be held from 5:30-11 p.m. on Saturday and 1-8 p.m. on Sunday. There will be no cover charge at participating restaurants until 8 p.m. and there will be unlimited water taxi rides, provided by FI Ferries, to and from the restaurants for just $10. If you prefer to travel by land Qwik Rides will have shuttle carts operating during the event to provide safe passage between restaurants.
A little bit of History about Cinco de Mayo:
Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day, which falls on Sunday, May 5 in 2019, is also known as Battle of Puebla Day. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
According to the History Channel, in 1861, Benito Juárez—a lawyer and member of the indigenous Zapotec tribe—was elected president of Mexico. At the time, the country was in financial ruin after years of internal strife, and the new president was forced to default on debt payments to European governments. In response, France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico, demanding repayment. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew their forces. France, however, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve an empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large force of troops and driving President Juárez and his government into retreat. 6,000 French troop set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juárez rounded up a ragtag force of 2,000 loyal men—many of them either indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry—and sent them to Puebla. The vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexicans, led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza, fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5, 1862, Lorencez gathered his army—supported by heavy artillery—before the city of Puebla and led an assault. The Battle of Puebla lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash. Zaragoza’s success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5 represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement.
Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday. Although celebrated through out the country, the most formal celebrations take place in the state of Puebla, where Zaragoza’s victory occurred. Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. The day is marked with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano. Some of the largest festivals are held in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations.