September 11 Digital Archive

New York, Mexican Style


New York, Mexican Style



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New York, Mexican Style

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Santiago Bonilla

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Hannah Emmerich

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With faces painted red, white and green, and waving matching Mexican flags, thousands of Mexican-Americans took to the streets of New York yesterday to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. On 116th Street in Spanish Harlem, in Flushing Meadows Park, in Astoria, and at the South Street Seaport, the sounds of mariachis and the smells of guacamole, tacos, tortillas, burritos, and corn on the cob filled the air. There was even a hot jalapeno chili-eating contest.

The 116th Street festival was marked by the presence of several famous musicians, such as Yamil (the pride of Mexico), the group Tales from the Crypt, and Julia Palma, a mariachi singer who came from Mexico to attend the festival. These and other musical groups entertained the public all day and into the night.

Im very happy to have been invited to participate in this festival. I am thankful to my fans who have welcomed me so warmly, said Yamil.

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Governor George Pataki, and Health Plus Director of Communications and External Affairs Selma Betancourt, who was named Godmother of the festivities, also attended the 116th Street festival. Governor Pataki addressed the crowd and shouted in Spanish, Viva Puebla. (Long live Puebla.)

Being Puerto Rican, I feel very honored to have been named Godmother to the Mexican community. It is important to support all of the Latino community and to spread our culture, said Betancourt.

For the children who attended the festival on 116th Street there were gifts, hats, clowns, and balloons of all colors. They also had the opportunity to pet sheep, llamas, horses, and other animals brought to the festival.

I feel very proud to be Mexican and to be able to spend Cinco de Mayo just like we do in Puebla, said Luisa Hernández, pushing a baby carriage.

Events like this are important keeping Mexican culture alive, said Julio Fernández of Upper Manhattan.

The festival has been a complete success. Due to the publics enthusiastic response we are planning to hold the Mexican parade on Fifth Avenue, said Juan Cáceres, festival organizer.

At the festival in Flushing, many Mexican families celebrated with picnics of hot sauce, tortillas, tacos, burritos, and other traditional dishes. The entertainment included Banbini, a group of four beautiful little girls aged 6 to 11, who delighted the public with renditions of classic songs by the late Mexican-American singer Selena.

Later, there was traditional Aztec music and folk dancing, and the rhythm of the drums could be heard into the night.

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“New York, Mexican Style,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed March 26, 2023,