Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cinco de Mayo 08

It was a happy circumstance that had us pulling into Van Hoy Farms and Campground in Union Grove (just north of Charlotte off Rt 77), North Carolina, on a Sunday afternoon for a one night lay over on the way to Dahlonega, GA. It was Sunday, May 04. This farm is the site of the North Carolina Fiddle Festival- made me think of the country version of Woodstock. (That will be held at another time). Some nice camp sites surrounded by an expansive farm with lots and lots of grass fields. We wondered what all that grass was for, that is until the cars started coming in to celebrate the Carolina version of the Mexican Cinco de Mayo Festival. Parking! That's what all that grass is for! Now we were thinking Woodstock, a Fiddle Festival, and a Mexican National Fiesta all rolled in to one. What a bonus. The owner greeted us and gave us a pass to the party. I love Cinco de Mayo festivities and this was a great party. Best we could tell, we were the only non Mexican attendees, but we didn't care a bit and they didn't seem to either. It was easy to understand what was going on and plenty of warm smiles throughout the crowd made this a real blast for all!

The pavilion that houses the festivities is enormous. What a great venue for a large festival. Plenty of outside space and mucho under cover space as well. As the crowd gathered under the" big top", the size of the place was appreciable.

The dancers warmed up. Old and young joined in the family fun...

The band got in its groove. They were excellent. Big sound. Made us all dance. No standing still during this performance!

The stage where the band performed overlooks a bull holding pen which in tum overlooks a rodeo ring, which in turn overlooks a dance floor. If you are getting the idea the place is big....Si!

Five girls (Cinco Mujeres) from the audience volunteered for the first contest. Chug one cerveza (that would be beer in case you don't know), run across the corral, put your hand on top of a soda bottle and rotate around it 12 times as fast as you can go, then stand up and run back to the finish line. The winner made it look easy, but there were plenty of laughs, chills and spills as most of the contestants had a hard time with the effort. Beats a bull fight any day!

There were all kinds of Mexican treats and snacks available in case you got hungry. It smelled really good there!

I uploaded three short video clips, maybe just enough to give you a sense of the event. One is the winning run of the "Cinco Mujeres" contest, one is of the band in full groove, and finally the riding of the bull. Enjoy!

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