Cinco de Mayo festival on Seis and Siete de Mayo in downtown Denver

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You've counted down the days. May 1, May 2, May 3... Now it's here. Cinco de Mayo -- the biggest one-day holiday that spans dos días of food, drinks and fun in downtown Denver. On the big day on Saturday, the Cinco de Mayo Parade returns for its 19th annual walk-through -- after a two-year hiatus that began in 2008 when a major media sponsor pulled its funding and volunteer force.

Though the Cinco de Mayo Parade, which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, is enough reason to make your way downtown in the next few days, there is even more to look forward to. The Cinco in the Park celebration immediately follows the parade and will continuing on Sunday as well, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Civic Center Park. The parade route starts at 12th Street and Colfax, then moves south along 15th Street and ends south on Lincoln Avenue.

You've got a lot to be excited about, amigos, and Andrea Barela, the development director of the company, NEWSED Community Development Corporation, which has co-produced the Cinco in the Park and parade events with Santa Fe Drive Redevelopment Corporation, explains why. After Barela gave Westword an exclusive breakdown of what to look forward to, we've put together a list of the top 10 new and exciting things you most certainly should check out tomorrow and this weekend. So what else is worth your time and what is not? Read on, amigos, and find out.

10. Ridin' dirty
With 30 low-rider vehicles in the parade on Saturday, you can expect to see a lot of awesome classic cars, as well as a lot of hand-waving action. Prince William and Kate Middleton ain't got nothin' on the peeps in these cars. Different bike clubs and dance groups, including traditional Mexican folk dancers and different drill teams, will also be around to strut their stuff.

9. Meet your mayoral candidates, and your cops, and your firemen, and your buses
In addition to the different low-riders in the Parade, Andrea Barela says that one mayoral candidate and one former front-runner are confirmed to make an appearance Saturday: Chris Romer and James Mejia. Denver police and firemen will also be on hand to woo the crowd. And if that weren't enough, RTD will be parading one of their buses. Can you say "eye candy"?

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Los Lunaticos, one of the bands performing on Saturday night.
8. La música
Radio Station Que Bueno, KBNO 1280 AM, is the official entertainment sponsor of Cinco in the Park. Translation: lots and lots of Mexican music. If you ever want to experience what's unique about the sound of Mexican music, come to any of the performances on Saturday and Sunday, says Andrea Barela. There are thirty groups performing on two stages, with a third stage devoted to various dance organizations. ¡Bailamos!

7. Play station
Has your carpal tunnel died down lately? Revive it at this expansive, 90-foot interactive trailer site that offers Playstation video game demonstrations. It's fun gaming action for all ages -- whether it's with your madre, your padre, you abuela or your amor. And, like all other sites and events during the Cinco in the Park festival this weekend, it's free.

6. Sensodynero
In between all of the delicious Mexican and American foods you will be eating this weekend, stop by the Sensodyne dental health spa station to have your teeth checked out by a professional hygienist free of charge. While you're there, try samples of new Sensodyne products. Think of it like you're going to a dentist's office, but the dentist's office is surrounded by music and food and people standing around you as spectators.



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