Cherokee Street’s Celebration of Art, Culture, and Community – Cinco De Mayo 2017
St. Louis, MO/May 4, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, denotes a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. It marks the Mexican army’s 1862 defeat of France in the Battle of Puebla, an early battle in the Franco-Mexican War (1861–1867). In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has grown into a celebration of Mexican culture—the art, the music, and of course, the food! After feeling like a cast member in a reproduction of Noah’s Ark, it appears the sun may come out just in time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in St. Louis.
The region’s biggest annual Cinco de Mayo festivals takes place along Cherokee Street. The annual street party draws more than 50,000 people to Cherokee Street in celebration of the rich culture and artistic community of this Southside neighborhood. Now in its 15th year, the 2017 festival is set for Saturday, May 6th from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The day-long, family-friendly festival will shut down Cherokee Street between Nebraska and South Jefferson Avenues.
The festival has grown into a huge multicultural celebration under the stewardship of the Cherokee Street Development League, a 501C3 nonprofit organization aimed at promoting the arts, culture and creative innovation on Cherokee Street. The group has worked with local arts and youth organizations, as well as the St. Louis Public Schools, to provide a variety of free artistic activities for kids and families at the festival. The St. Louis Public Schools Kids Zone will feature a water slide, bouncy houses, and interactive games. The Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis Language Immersion Schools, Artscope, and Justice Fleet will provide a variety of kid’s art making activities.
Festivalgoers will also find Cherokee Street packed with authentic food, drinks, music, and entertainment representing the diverse talents and multicultural backgrounds of the artists and residents that are a part of the surrounding community—more than 100 vendors in all. There will be three stages offering a variety of live musical performances all day long, plus pro wrestling exhibitions (from Dynamo Pro Wrestling), mariachi, bull riding, giant jenga, a piñata, and more.
At 1:11 p.m. the jovial People’s Joy Parade steps off at Minnesota Ave. and Cherokee Street, winding its way through the Benton Park neighborhood before ending at Cherokee and Texas Ave. The parade is an annual hodgepodge of crepe paper floats, homemade costumes, dancers, gigante puppeteers, Elvis impersonators, art cars, bike brigades, moving installation artists, drag queens, marching bands, Mexican wrestlers, and anyone else wanting to participate. There’s no other parade in St. Louis, or anywhere, quite like it!
Free street parking is available in the surrounding neighborhood. Handicapped parking will be along Cherokee Street, east of South Jefferson Avenue. Although security at the event has traditionally been quite good, attendees are reminded not to leave valuables visible in their cars. Outside food, and beverages (including wine, beer, and spirits) are not permitted on festival grounds. And attendees are asked to leave pets (other than trained service animals) at home.
Cinco De Mayo 2017: A Cherokee Street Festival is free and open to the public (those under 15 must be accompanied by an adult). It’s a day to celebrate the rich diversity of this south city neighborhood with a nod to Mexico’s long-ago victory over France. With the sunny forecast for Saturday, this Cinco party promises a day of music, food, mariachis, bull riding, and lucha libre along Cherokee Street. And then there’s the food! Authentic, fresh Mexican street food, terrific tacos, tortas, tamales, fresh corn on the cob, licuados, sopes, and more. It’s St. Louis’ gran fiesta for Cinco De Mayos!
Cherokee Street Development League
3407 South Jefferson, Suite 515
St. Louis, MO 63118