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Fuzzy Math, Yippy Dogs

Cinco de Mayo hits Delray on the tres de Mayo this year, and as the moment draws nigh it is worth taking a look at the illustrious, though tragic, history of this little-understood holiday.

It was the Fifth of May in the turbulent year of 1862 when handsome, bespectacled Ignacio Zaragozo Seguin led a ragtag army of Mexican freedom fighters to victory against the superior forces of Napoleon III, near the city of Puebla. Lacking the imposing cavalry of the French army, Seguin’s fighters rode into battle atop hastily conscripted giant Chihuahuas; and as they celebrated their win by getting totally borracho, neither man nor dog harbored a thought of temperance. In retrospect, this may have been unwise: the forces of Napoleon III rallied and ate the Mexican army like a snail less than five weeks later. But Cinco de Mayo remains a day of Mexican pride, celebrated annually all over the world (except in Mexico, where everybody but the folks in Puebla ignore it completely). Which is why, to commemorate this profound moment of military prowess, blind luck, and canine-human cooperation, the Hispana-Latino Cultural Alliance is sponsoring a huge Quatro de… er, Cinco de Mayo bash at Old School Square (51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach), featuring live music, games, food, a hot-pepper eating contest — and, of course, Chihuahua races. Admission is $10; the fiesta runs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call 561-276-3396.
Mon., May 4, 11 a.m., 2009

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Brandon K. Thorp

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