Cinco Kyna

Kyna “Rene” Stephan proudly shows off her mustache as she enjoys the Cinco de Mayo celebration with fellow students at Peoria Elementary School.

Councilmembers sang the praises of the May 4 celebration of Cinco de Mayo hosted by Vice Mayor Tony Rivero and the City of Peoria. All of them indicated Tuesday evening that they are looking forward to a repeat next year of the event.

College students manned the ticket table at the east entrance. J.D. Cavazos, who will be a junior next year at Arizona State University, was joined by his sister, Amanda, who is a freshman at University of Arizona, and Victoria Placencia, who will be a junior in the fall at U of A. Victoria attended high school at St. Mary’s, and she won the Honeywell/Challenger Space Center aerospace challenge while attending S.S. Jude Elementary School. But here, she was joining friends in volunteering their time.

Kids lined a barricade to watch the entertainment – much of it by fellow classmates at six different elementary schools in the city. Parents and teachers helped at the various food and beverage vending booths. Teens traded shifts making root beer floats, while others offered cool bottles of water.

Santa Fe Elementary teachers touted their International Festival coming up 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 15 at the school, 9880 N. 77th Ave. The public is invited to the free event, which features third-grade students singing and dancing as they represent the culture of 12 different countries from around the world. They will be dressed in costumes to illustrate their particular country’s customs.

A Santa Fe parent said the third-graders had to do a research project on their country and write a one-page essay about their country, accompanied by a poster board display.

Not only was there music and food, there was also a raffle to win a 2003 Sebring convertible donated by recording artist Elaine Stepper, who performed with Rolls Royce, the group that had the hit, “Carwash.” Peoria resident Debbie Latter checked out the convertible, and was positive she was going to be the winner of the car. As of press time, the winner was unknown.

Across the western side of the lawn at Centennial Plaza, Councilmember Jon Edwards and downtown Peoria resident Joe Puckett were talking with Arriq Reams, a 17-year-old junior at Centennial High School, who is a member of the city’s Youth Advisory Board. Arriq said he has applied for the opportunity to sit at the dais with city council during their meeting. He said it would help the YAB and other teens better understand how city government works.

And through it all, fire department paramedics were set up in an air-conditioned tent complete with cots and chairs, prepared for any emergency and outfitted with lots of cold water and ice.

It was a success.

For more photos from the event, see the attached gallery.