UMC Links

Fiesta Frenzy at the U

April 26, 2005 — Cinco de Mayo will come a little early this year for hundreds of Salt Lake Valley school children. Building on the success of last year’s festival, Kingsbury Hall is proud to host its second annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.

On Tuesday, May 3, close to 1,000 third and fourth graders from Title I schools across the valley will visit Kingsbury Hall, located at 1395 East Presidents Circle on the University of Utah campus, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. for an educational, exciting, and dynamic fiesta.

Before the fiesta the students will attend a free performance by the Utah Hispanic Dance Alliance and receive a greeting from the Consul of Mexico, Salvador Jimenez. Following the performance they will relax on the grassy area of Presidents Circle with their lunches, Mexican pastries and piñatas – soon to be scraps of paper maché – and enjoy the authentic ambiance provided by a live mariachi band.

The outreach activity aims to enrich the lives of the students by giving them a better understanding of other cultures while also allowing them to become familiar with the University. Over 40 classes of students from schools spanning the Salt Lake Valley, many with large Latina/o populations, will be a part of this fiesta. Outreach coordinator for Kingsbury Hall, Lisa Wilson, notes, “Last year’s festival was terrifically successful. We had such an enthusiastic response from local schools that we quickly reached our maximum capacity. We are so happy to organize this activity again so that students who unfortunately missed out last year will be able to join us this year for the fiesta.”

The participating students are invited to learn more about Cinco de Mayo and to enrich their understanding of the Spanish language, Mexico, and Mexican arts and legends. In preparation for the fiesta, each class is constructing a piñata that will be filled with candy by Kingsbury Hall volunteers for the children to enjoy at the festival.

Rina Rosenham of Meadowlark Elementary School is enthusiastic about the May 3 event. “I’m so excited our students are going to have this opportunity. We were unable to attend last year because there were too many schools signed up ahead of us. It’s wonderful to show students that cultural education is important and that it takes place not only in the classroom but in the community as well.

The Utah Hispanic Dance Alliance has given performances across the globe. They offer audiences a stunning combination of native music, vibrant costumes and authentic folk dance that celebrate the history and customs of diverse Latin American cultures. Central to their mission are the preservation and promotion of unique cultural traditions. Through their performances they hope not only to entertain but also to cultivate a growing appreciation for a unified people comprised of diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds.

More than 70 volunteers from the University campus and the greater community will assist in the Cinco de Mayo festivities. The event is sponsored by University Neighborhood Partners and Kingsbury Hall, with contributions from Wells Fargo Bank and Colonial Flags.