Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Flags, food, beauty add to Cinco de Mayo fun in Dade City

DADE CITY

Wendy Luna, 15, stood in the middle of a mechanic's parking lot, holding up her tiered white skirt, a tiara on her head. Waiting. • The day before, a woman she didn't know called her and invited her to ride in the annual Farmworkers Self-Help Cinco de Mayo parade. The only catch: She had to wear her quinceanera dress.

"I'm nervous," she said, smiling.

Butterflies whirred in her stomach as she shooed the lovebugs from her long white dress.

The Cinco de Mayo parade has been a fixture of Tommytown, a largely Hispanic neighborhood north of Dade City, for longer than organizer Margarita Romo can remember.

Romo, the director of Farmworkers Self-Help, an agency that helps migrant workers, said the parade is proof that even with minimal resources, anything is possible. This year's event drew about 100 people.

"We have done something in Tommytown (that) people never expected us to do," Romo said.

Tuesday, in the mechanic's parking lot at the edge of Tommytown, participants stapled the last of the Mexican flags to their floats and got in line.

Wendy climbed into the back of a cream PT Cruiser convertible. Preschoolers with green, red and white tissue paper woven through the spokes of their bikes pedaled behind her.

The parade inched by La Onda, a nightclub where last May a fight broke out and a 22-year-old man was killed.

A boy told Wendy she was beautiful, then clamored for candy thrown from a float behind her.

At a taco stand, her parents beamed and said they were proud of her. Tommytown doesn't have a pageant queen, but Wendy played the part.

"Viva Mexico!" chanted a group of children from behind a chain link fence.

The parade ended at Resurrection Park. Friends helped Wendy hold up her dress as they made their way past three crosses honoring slain Tommytown residents.

In the park, vendors sold beauty supplies, orange soda and popcorn. Signs in English and Spanish advertised free bread.

Parade participants recovered from the afternoon heat in the shade, eating, laughing and drinking.

Wendy stood with her friends on the edge of a basketball court converted into a dance floor. The women chatted in Spanish as the party continued around them.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Flags, food, beauty add to Cinco de Mayo fun in Dade City 05/05/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 8:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa City Council votes to accept Cuban ambassador’s travel invitation

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  2. Illinois is recruiting a 10-year-old. Where will Lovie Smith be by the time the kid can sign?

    Blogs

    Today in ridiculous recruiting news, Lovie Smith's Illinois football team offered a scholarship to a 10-year-old.

  3. St. Pete Pride to focus on transgender inclusion with first-ever TransPride March

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Nathan Bruemmer remembers his first Pride parade in the late 1990s. He hadn't yet come out as transgender.

    Nathan Bruemmer stands on the St Pete Pride parade route on Bayshore Drive NE Thursday, June 22, 2017. Bruemmer is the only trans member on the St. Pete Pride's board. This year he organized a TransPride March to begin Saturday's festivities before the floats come down along the bay. The TransPride March will include members of the transgender, gender-non-conforming, queer communities, their families, friends, allies and supporters.
  4. Home of Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman hits market at $3.45 million

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is back on the market for $3.45 million after a brief hiatus.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is on the market for $3.45 million. [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  5. Motorcyclist in serious condition after crash in St. Petersburg

    Accidents

    A motorcyclist is in serious condition after he crashed into a car in St. Petersburg on Thursday afternoon, according to St. Petersburg Police.