Planning continues for Cinco de Mayo festivities


Mario Villanueva of the Diocese of Yakima Housing Services made his case to the Sunnyside City Council Monday night about his agency's plans to build a 51-unit rental housing complex in Sunnyside.

The Sunnyside Cinco de Mayo Committee met earlier this week outlining some details for the annual community festival, which will be held in Sunnyside May 6-8.

Carrie Stone, the new marketing and events coordinator for the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, announced at the meeting that two vendor applications had already been received. Stone said numerous vendor applications were mailed out on March 1.

It is estimated that this year's Cinco de Mayo festival will house between 100 and 118 vendors in the new 12x20 booths. At the last meeting in February, the committee decided to change the size of the booths for vendors from 10x12 to 12x20.

Brezzi Campos, one of the chairs of the Cinco de Mayo committee, talked about the possibility of securing a catwalk to be added on to the entertainment stage at Cinco de Mayo. Campos said this way, entertainers will be able to walk into the crowd to interact with people when they perform.

Stone also confirmed that Paradise Amusements will be at this year's celebration. Stone did have a suggestion, which she said carnival officials were open to, moving the carnival over to Sixth Street by Fashion Corner and American West Bank. This would be a change from locating the carnival by Safeway. Stone said the trailers the carnival brings that houses its group of entertainers would still be housed in the parking lot at Central Park.

Campos said she wanted to make sure that what was being proposed with the carnival didn't interfere with the car show the committee is looking at moving from the Mid-Valley Mall parking lot to downtown.

The committee will be looking at both issues at future meetings.

The committee was open to an idea from carnival officials to stage the event a day earlier to coincide with the actual Cinco de Mayo holiday on Thursday, May 5. None of the committee members objected to letting the carnival open on May 5.

It was also decided that a dance will be held during the weekend of the Cinco de Mayo festival. Campos and Stone both said they would be working with local radio stations on partnering to stage the dance.

It does look as if the charro event will be taking place after all. Stone came up with the idea of having the charro event, which is similar to a rodeo. It had been discussed at a previous meeting that the charro event would be held in the center of town, with officials having to haul dirt in to hold the event. However, Stone came up with the idea of having the charro competition in the vacant lot next to El Mejor Tequito.

"The dirt will not be an issue if we make a stage there," said Stone.

Stone said the only thing that would be needed for the charro event if it is held in the vacant lot will be a stage.

"After the horse competition you could use that stage for something else," said Stone.

The committee suggested holding dance competitions with local clubs and school dance teams at the staging area.

At the meeting it was also announced that Wal-Mart will not be donating any funds for the trophies this year. Stone said instead Wal-Mart said it will be donating items such as the entertainment tent and various other stuff.

"We will get the trophies from downtown businesses instead," said Stone. "I think our goal this year is to get community support and everybody involved."

The next meeting of the Cinco de Mayo committee is scheduled for Thursday, March 10, at 6 p.m. at the Sunnyside Community Center.


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