Cinco de Mayo celebration canceled due to flu

April 30, 2009 4:53:08 AM PDT
Flu concerns have forced the cancelation of a Cinco de Mayo celebration that was scheduled for this weekend at Navy Pier. Performers and public officials from Mexico were supposed to be a part of the event.

For 40 years, the Mexican Civic Society has been responsible for creating a community united in its dedication to the preservation and promotion of Mexican culture and heritage.

An important event for them every year is the Cinco de Mayo celebration.

The organization made the decision to cancel the event because of the swine flu.

"It's with great sadness we made the decision to cancel the Cinco de Mayo celebration this weekend," said Eduardo Rodriguez, Mexican Civic Society of Illinois.

Cinco de Mayo is an important Mexican holiday that takes place on May 5. It marks the victorious battle against French forces that took place in Puebla, Mexico in 1862.

Last year, the Mexican Civic Society of Illinois had its Cinco de Mayo folkloric and cultural festival at Navy Pier in Festival Hall.

This year, they felt they should cancel the event this weekend because of the swine flu epidemic in Mexico.

Up to 15,000 were expected to attend each day of the festival.

Most of the performers and exhibitors come from Mexico and from the states most affected by the swine flu.

"It's for the safety of the people coming from Mexico," said Josefina Salinas, Mexican Civic Society of Illinois.

"It's good for the people," said Miguel Zuno, Mexican Civic Society of Illinois.

"Members of the Mexican Civic Society do not believe that at this point other events held bit Mexican community in the city of Chicago willing impacted by the swine flu," said Ald. George Cardenas, 12th Ward.

The Mexican Civic Society of Illinois also said cancelled the Cinco de Mayo celebration because they did not want to make it an uncomfortable situation for those individuals from Mexico coming to Chicago for the event. They plan to have the celebration next year.