This May 5, the Historical Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade and Festival returns to Venice with a celebration of Mexican culture.

Now in its third consecutive year after a 32-year absence in Venice, the Cinco de Mayo Parade Festival is back again with a celebration of Mexican heritage, featuring mariachi bands, classic cars, traditional Folklorico dancers, music from local high school bands, and a float, amongst many other activities.

Officials said the event has grown since its return and the 2018 celebration includes some additional floats by new participants.

Community organizer Laura Ceballos helped organize the event, a celebration she hopes can educate and bring Venice — and people in general — together.

“This event can reunite people that grew up here, bring a sense of Venice pride. It’s a time to unite the community and celebrate Venice and its diversity, it’s Mexican American heritage and history.”

Inspired by her mother’s death, Ceballos says the “Venice roots and Mexican pride” that her mother instilled in her encouraged her to become involved with the event. After a stint as a board member at the Pico Youth Center, Ceballos became a full-time community organizer to put on events such as this one, to honor her mother and heritage.

“It’s always been a historic event,” Ceballos said in a phone call. “I had fond memories of watching it with my mother as a kid. This is my way of honoring her and who we are, in a way.”

While Ceballos says she grew up in a “significantly different” Venice, she says the parade from her childhood still means something to her, especially in “difficult times where hatred is spread.”

“My family and many Mexican-Americans have deep roots here in Venice and we have a history that should be acknowledged and shared,” Ceballos said. “I think this is one of the only parades on the Westside. It’s a big event for everyone here and the neighboring communities as well to come out and celebrate, get to know one another, and have fun.”

The parade begins at Lincoln and California Ave at 10 a.m. It travels down Lincoln to Rose before returning via 7th Ave to Oakwood Park, 767 California Ave. where it will transition into the festival. Parade spectators are encouraged to view the parade on Lincoln between California and Rose. The festival will be open through 6 p.m.

Parking is available at Amino High School. The event is free.

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