DENVER – Cinco de Mayo doesn’t mean much to people in Mexico, but for Latinos in the U.S., the holiday helps second- and third-generation citizens connect with their roots and the culture of their forefathers through dance, music and, naturally, food.
As you prepare to celebrate Cinco de Mayo around Civic Center Park and other parts across town, Denver police ask that you plan ahead if you’re planning to drive around downtown and Federal Blvd.
However, it’s not only in downtown Denver where you can expect to see an increase flow of traffic. Denver police warned drivers they can also expect to encounter heavy traffic on Federal Blvd. starting this Friday until Sunday, May 5.
With this in mind, police created a traffic control plan to maximize safety, relieve traffic congestion and minimize impact from noise that the festivities will have on adjacent neighborhoods.
On Federal Boulevard, once traffic congestion increases:
East/west traffic across Federal will be restricted to major intersections: Louisiana Ave., Mississippi Ave., Kentucky Ave., Alameda Ave., and US-6.
Police said the proposed traffic control plans calls for three phases, which will include the positioning of stationary posts, barricades and possible traffic re-routes.
“Once barricades are in place, access to side streets will be limited to neighborhood residents only,” police said in a news release. “Residents requiring neighborhood access should contact the officer posted at the road closure. If an officer is engaged in a police action, residents should proceed to the next staffed or open intersection.”
Police also said any violations that “pose a safety risk” will be strictly enforced by officers in the area, including sound ordinance violations – both from stereos and excessive horn honking. The city’s curfew will also be enforced beginning at midnight Friday and Saturday and 11 p.m. on Sunday.
What about downtown Denver traffic?
The festivities at Civic Center Park will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with the parade starting an hour later on Saturday at the corner of Galapago St. and W. Colfax Ave.
The parade will head east on Welton St. until it reaches 17th St. From there, it will go south to Broadway and turn left on Lincoln St. At Lincoln, it will then head south until it reaches 13th Ave., where the parade will end.
The Cinco de Mayo "Celebrate Culture" Festival will be over at 8 p.m. Sunday.
View the route of the parade in the map below:
A brief history of Cinco de Mayo
While not an official holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla, which took place in 1862 between the military forces of Mexico and France.
The battle is of great cultural significance to the Mexican people as it was the first time Mexican forces were able to defeat a stronger and far better equipped military, considered to be one of the most powerful military forces in the world at the time.
And despite what some might tell you, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. That day is celebrated on September 16.
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