Old Town San Diego will host its signature event, the Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo, May 2-4, 2003.
Event hours are 5:00p.m. to 9:00p.m. Friday, 11:00a.m. to 7:00p.m. Saturday and noon to 6:00p.m. Sunday. The weekend of activities kicks off Friday evening with live music featuring Onda Caliente of San Antonio Texas, Mariachi Real de San Diego and Enedina Lammers in the Old Town State Historic Park on the Bazaar del Mundo Stage and Wells Fargo Plaza Stage.
On Saturday and Sunday visitors can stroll through the Mercado, modeled after a Latin American marketplace and enjoy live music and colorful entertainment performed at 10 different venues throughout the event. Unique to Old Town is the re-enactment of the Battle of Puebla and the Escramuzas Golondrinas Female Equestrian Group. Fiesta entertainers include Fuerza Musical, Laverinto, B Side Players, Jaime Valle, United States Airforce Band of the Golden West, Cocodrilos del Norte, Signo Musical and Danza Oceotol.
There will be something for the whole family to enjoy. Attendees will have the opportunity to savor many flavors of Mexican cuisine and climb aboard the Wells Fargo stagecoach for an authentic western ride around town. Children are welcome to spend the day in the Pueblo de Los Niños, created by the San Diego Children’s Museum. Not your typical arts and crafts area, the Museum will feature interactive workshops that will include thematic rubbings featuring Old Town landmark buildings, painting 2-dimensional trucks, cacti and horses and a drawing contest.
Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May commemorates the victory of an outnumbered Mexican army over the Imperial French army, one of the best trained in the world.
During the Fiesta this battle is interpretively recreated and catches the sense of strength, tenacity & independence of the Mexican spirit. The Old Town Fiesta is the only event in San Diego where the battle is recreated.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Historic Old Town Community Foundation, which provides educational activities for San Diego’s 4th grade students. Free and paid parking is available at the Fiesta.
History of Old Town
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park recreates the setting of San Diego life during the Mexican to early American periods (1821 to 1872) and represents a tapestry of cultures and influences. The first to live here were the indigenous people known as the Kumeyaay. These semi-nomadic bands moved with the season, living off the ocean, native plants, animals and trade. The coming of the Spanish spelled the end to this traditional lifestyle. From 1542 with the first European explorer to discover San Diego Bay through the Spanish settlements during the 1760’s and military occupation by American soldiers during the war with Mexico, Old Town continued to grow and thrive. A fire in the Spring of 1872 destroyed several businesses in Old Town driving commerce and development opportunities to New Town (today’s Gaslamp Quarter). Old Town was no longer the center for commerce it once was. In 1968 Old Town became a state historic park and work began to restore and stabilize its buildings and interpret its rich history. The work continues today.