Multi-cultural Frankford celebrating Cinco de Mayo

The third annual Cinco de Mayo Festival will be held on Sunday, May 1, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Frankford Library, at 8 Main Street in Frankford.

The festival will once again feature live music, crafts, games, traditional Mexican food and folkloric dances, performed by both adults and children.

Rosa Castro, Spanish-speaking liaison at the library, said the first year of the festival started small, as an outreach to the Spanish community, to try to make them feel comfortable and welcome. With only two weeks to plan, they had 80 people attend, including a dancer and two different musical performers, plus food, crafts and a piñata.

“It was so nice the first time,” she said, “and last year was a little bit bigger because we organized more in advance.”

In 2010, they formed a group of young girls to do the Mexican folkloric dances. Because many of the local Mexican immigrants are from the Vera Cruz area, they did dances specific to that region of Mexico, as they will again this year.

Castro said they had a dress maker make the elaborate costumes and had a professional dance instructor rehearse with the girls beforehand.

“It was successful,” she said. “For this little town, we had about 250 people show up.”

They also had a band that has since gone on to have many more appearances, so this year they will be showcasing a new band, “before they get famous too,” joked Castro. The 2011 musical headliner is Mensajes Musical, or Music Messengers.

During the festival, each of the dances – which this year will be performed by both adults and children – will be described in English and Spanish, as yet another reminder of the diversity of cultures in the small town. Food will be available from Dagsboro’s La Bamba.

Castro — who is originally from Ecuador — explained that everyone has something to learn from everyone else, and festivities like these are what make towns like Frankford special. For example, food in Mexico is different from food in Ecuador or Guatemala, or Delaware.

Cultures are different, and even languages and dialects are different, but that doesn’t mean that everybody can’t come together for a special purpose. And a celebration such as May 5 – a date remembered by Mexican-Americans, Mexicans and Americans alike – can be used in bringing people together.

“There’s something to learn from each other, and it’s something interesting to participate in and to enjoy,” said Castro.

The celebration will be held Sunday, May 1, from 2 to 5 p.m. There is no rain date.