Cinco on a tres: Edwards festival keeps growing, no matter what the date |

Cinco on a tres: Edwards festival keeps growing, no matter what the date

by Wren Wertin

11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Chili Cook-Off

Tortilla-rolling demonstration

Silent auction

Face painting and children’s arts and crafts

Food and vendor booths

Mariachi America de Jesus Diaz

Pony rides on the river path

11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Pinata breaking every hour on the half hour

1:30 p.m.-2:15

Ballet Folkloric TeSoro de Colorado

Riverwalk Main Street


Face painting and children’s arts and crafts

Sidewalk sales, food and vendor booths

Mariachi America de Jesus Diaz

Pony Rides on the river path

Fire/rescue trucks on display

Pinata breaking every hour on the hour

Entertainment Tent

11 a.m.-noon

Music by Persuasion


Ceremony of Diversity

Eagle County Children’s Chorale

Edwards Elementary students

Cultural, Social, Educational, Economic Diversity Awards

Mariachi America de Jesus Diaz

12:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

Ballet Folkloric TeSoro de Colorado

1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Music by Persuasion

4:30 p.m.

Chili Cook-Off award presentation

Rain, snow or shine, Edwards’ traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration gets cooking at 11 a.m. at both the Edwards Plaza and Riverwalk. The festival’s official goal is to celebrate diversity and work toward unity in Eagle County. On the way, it will provide a frolicsome time for families.

Six years old, it’s gotten bigger than ever.

Often confused with Mexican Independence Day, which is actually September 16, Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican peasant soldiers’ defeat of the French army on May 5, 1862. The battle had implications for the United States. If the Mexicans had not so efficiently routed the French army, those soldiers would have continued up to lend their weight to the Civil War, fighting for the south.

The U.S. might have had freedom fries that much quicker.

Chili Cook-Off

The Chili Cook-Off is a big part of the festival. Amateurs and professionals alike converge upon the Edwards Plaza to brew up a batch of their one-of-a-kind chili.

“Ours is the best,” promised Mariano Ledezma, chef for Fiesta’s!. “Our fresh chiles make it the best. It’s got to cook for a long time to get the bite to it, the flavor. This is one of the things you learn about chile.”

Ledezma is originally from Aguas Calientes, Mexico.

“In Mexico we don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo,” he said. “I think it’s just a big celebration here for the fun of it.”

“I guess the big rivalry is between the Vail Daily and KZYR,” said Susan Marquez, co-owner of Fiesta’s! and one of the festival’s organizers.

For those not inclined to eat five-alarm chili, there will be plenty of other goodies around.

The mariachi music, and the food. There’s a lot of food out there.

Blow your horn

“The car show is new,” said Marquez. “It’s a classic lowrider-custom-hot-rod-motorcycle show. … It’s the first year, so we didn’t go strict on categories. Just bring out your cool car, a conversation piece.”

Ten cars vehicles have been entered so far.

Now that’s entertainment

What’s a fiesta without music and dancing?

The mariachis are back this year, with their high-energy tunes and practiced movements. Mariachi America de Jesus Diaz, a seven-piece group, will be roaming about the festival, in addition to performing on stage. Persuasion, a local band, will also be providing music.

“They play lots of different styles of music,” said Marquez. “It’s sort of Northern New Mexico mixed with oldies and rock and roll. They won an award at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo for overall mix of style.”

The folkloric dancers this year are professionals, and will arrive in multi-colored skirts.

“They’ll represent different areas of Mexico with styles of dress,” explained Marquez. “There will be three 45-minute sets.”

All of the entertainment is free.

Diversity ceremony

To continue to promote diversity within the community, three awards will be given out. Leticia Harrison will receive the cultural award, Jan Attoma the educational award and Gerald Vegas the economic award.

“We like to honor people who have bridged the gap between the Latino community of Eagle County,” said Marquez.

And more

Kids activities continue to be popular, and include face painting, crafts and pony rides. The fire department will have a brush fire simulator. They’ll also have a car seat safety check at the Edwards rest stop for anyone wanting to make sure a particular car seat is safe.

“They’ll be giving out helmets, too,” said Marquez.

All money raised by the silent auction will go to The Literacy Project. There will also be a book drive for children’s books, which will continue through the second week of May.

“This is the sixth year, and each year the community comes up with a new idea,” said Marquez. “Come out to Cinco and celebrate that, celebrate our community.”

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.

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