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Laramie Treviño, News Service (650) 723-6970; e-mail:

Stanford offers full slate of Cinco de Mayo events all week

Stanford's longtime tradition of celebrating Cinco de Mayo will be marked this year with musical entertainment, dancing, a Queer Latino carnival, a barbecue, a Spanish-language Mass and more.

"The celebration of Cinco de Mayo at Stanford goes back more than 20 years, pre-dating the history of El Centro Chicano," says Chris Gonzalez Clarke, assistant director of El Centro.

While Cinco de Mayo commemorates a Mexican battle over the French, the occasion has another meaning for the Stanford community.

"Contrary to popular misconception, it is not 'Mexican Independence Day,'" Clarke points out. "Rather, it is a celebration of our community's continued successes in this country in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles, much like the battle of Puebla in which Mexican forces defeated what was thought to be a superior foe."

A panel at noon Thursday in the Casa Zapata lounge will feature José Padilla, executive director of California Rural Legal Aid, and four Stanford undergraduates who will discuss what Cinco de Mayo means to them and the Latino community.

At noon Friday, a Cinco de Mayo celebration on the back patio of Tresidder Union will be headlined by spoken word/musical ensemble Grito Serpentino. Ballet Folklorico de Stanford also will perform.

Beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, a Cinco de Mayo "Party Under the Stars" will be held at Zapata/Burbank Courtyard with DJ Javier at the controls.

A community carnival with games, treats and prizes, and a bounce house will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Casa Zapata.

At 7 p.m. Saturday in the Casa Zapata Dining Hall, Noche de Carnaval, hosted by Familia de Stanford, the campus Queer Latino support and activist group, will feature original poetry, drag performances and an appearance by Latin Hustle, a Bay Area Queer Latino comedy troupe. Donations will be requested and all proceeds will benefit the Fall 2000 Queer Latino Youth Conference.

Stanford's Cinco de Mayo events will culminate Sunday with a noon Spanish Catholic Mass at Casa Zapata/Serra Courtyard.

Some events and locations are subject to change; for more information, call (650) 723-2089.



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