Gray Skies Can’t Stop Cinco de Mayo Parade



In 2016, the decades-old Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade and Festival was brought back to town for the first time in 32 years. The tradition began in the ‘60s and lasted until 1984, before it was revitalized in 2016 by the Pico Youth & Family Center.

On Sat. May 6, the parade and festival re- turned once again, showcasing local Mexican-American culture and organizations.


Despite a slight drizzle, and overcast skies, the day’s events began with a parade on Lincoln Boulevard, which wrapped around to Lake Street and ended at Penmar Park, where the festival was held.

The parade included returning participants like the Westside Originals Lowrider club, Folklorico dancers and the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.), as well as horse riders, and the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist organization.

The festival at Penmar Park featured members of the local community, who pro- vided food, music, raffles, and other activities.


In addition, several local organizations were on hand to promote community betterment.

Lupe Garcia, was representing both the Venice Affordable Housing Project, which oversees 240 affordable housing units on the Westside, and Venice Youthbuild, which offers students from ages 18 to 21 a chance to receive their high school diploma.

“A lot of people in the community come here, so we’re trying to advocate for our school,” said Garcia.

Local painter Ruth Chase was also at the event, representing an art exhibition at VeniceArts titled the West of Lincoln Project, featuring some of her paintings alongside stories of Venice locals.


“I’m here to encourage people to submit their stories about moving here or having lived here to be included on the Venice tribute Wall for the exhibition in August,” said Chase. “[VeniceArts has] been in the community for 25 years and I’ve known them from the day they started.”