The Best 5 Cities to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo - United Hub

The 5 best cities to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

By Bob Cooper

It may be surprising, but Cinco de Mayo is actually a holiday celebrated more in the U.S. than in Mexico. Mexico's actual Independence Day is on September 16, a holiday that Mexicans observe in a similar way Americans observe Fourth of July. The exception is in the city of Puebla, where in 1862 during the Battle of Puebla, occupying French forces were defeated by outnumbered Mexican patriots. There is no one reason why Cinco de Mayo has since become the main celebration of Mexican and Mexican-American culture in the U.S.; some say it's simply that Dieciseis de Septiembre is harder to say. But, people of all ethnicities have embraced the holiday in the country that shares Mexico's northern border.

Aerial view of Cholula, Puebla, Mexico

Puebla, Mexico

Unlike the rest of Mexico, Mexico's fourth-largest city of Puebla celebrates May 5 as a major holiday, with the city shutting down to commemorate the 1862 battle. Puebla is a worthwhile city to visit anytime, as the historic Baroque district is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its archbishop's palace, 17th-century cathedral and tile-covered houses. The Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhutal volcanoes are also not too far from the city. The city comes to life on May 5, and this year the holiday conveniently falls on a Saturday. To celebrate, the city hosts a battle reenactment, followed by a military parade with colorful floats and dancers. Afterwards, the celebration continues with an abundance of food, drink, music and dancing. Concerts and cultural events are scheduled on the days leading up to the holiday so make sure to arrive to the city a few days early to take part in the full experience.

Denver, Colorado

The 31st annual Cinco de Mayo Celebrate Culture Festival in downtown Denver is the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration anywhere, with an estimated 400,000 people flocking to Civic Center Park on May 5-6. Festivities include a parade, carnival rides, Chihuaha races, a taco eating contest and a lowrider show. Hispanic bands from both the U.S. and Mexico provide music for the two-day event in nine daily performances on the main stage, plus dozens of music and dance performances of many types on two other stages. Need a break from all of the festivities? Go for a hike on the trails above nearby Boulder; the weather is usually superb in early May.

Taco Street Vendor in San Diego

San Diego, California

The 35th annual Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo celebration (May 4-6) has become so popular, with 100,000 flocking to Old Town San Diego Historic Park and the surrounding streets each year, it has been expanded from a weekend-only event to three days this year, with flamenco, mariachi fusion and gypsy swing bands performing on two stages on Friday, May 4. The festival fully comes alive on Saturday and Sunday with performances by dozens of bands and dance groups from several genres — most with a Latin flavor — on four stages. Kids will enjoy the petting zoo and pony rides, and all should enjoy Ballet Folklorico (Mexican folk dancing), Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) and Lowrider Lane (a custom car) exhibitions. Add food vendors and the result is a spicy blend of music, dance, food, drinks and fun in one of America's best beach cities. ¡Olé!

St. Paul, Minnesota

Cinco de Mayo West Side is a lively celebration of Mexican culture in the West Side neighborhood of this Twin City. The May 5 festival opens with a morning parade along Cesar Chavez Street, then continues all afternoon with predominantly Latin entertainment on three stages, including a family stage. Also slated are a Lowrider Car, Truck and Bike Show; Jalapeno Eating Contests; and an El Grito ("The Scream") contest, in which participants let out their most spirited scream in honor of the priest's scream that, according to legend, triggered the Mexican War of Independence. The addition of food and a beer garden round out the festivities.

San Antonio, Texas

America's seventh-largest city is celebrating its tricentennial all year, but in the biggest way on Commemorative Week (May 1-6) because it was during that week in 1718 that Mission San Antonio de Valero (later called the Alamo) and the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar were established. During this time period, the city was under Spanish and then Mexican rule for the next 118 years. The city's biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration is at Market Square, site of the largest Mexican market in America, where 50,000 people will be treated to live music, folklorico dance exhibitions and Tex-Mex food. Before and after the holiday, other Commemorative Week events that visitors can enjoy include Friday night fireworks at the Alamo and Sunday flyovers and skydiving exhibitions at Fort Sam Houston.

If you go

United Airlines offers service from U.S. cities to all of these cities including travel to Puebla, Mexico. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your Cinco de Mayo vacaciones.

We fly crucial medical equipment for COVID-19 testing

By The Hub team , March 31, 2020

In the midst of mobilizing our cargo operations, our teams at New York/Newark (EWR) and Jacksonville (JAX) stepped in to assist Roche Diagnostics with transporting a vital component for an instrument being used for COVID-19 testing.

The component was stuck at EWR en route to the Mayo Clinic in Florida after another airline's flights were cancelled. A Roche employee contacted us asking for help and, within a few hours, our teams had the piece loaded onto a Jacksonville-bound aircraft, with arrangements in place to deliver it to the Mayo Clinic.

The item we shipped will allow the Mayo Clinic in Florida to process hundreds of COVID-19 tests per day. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has been on the front lines of increasing testing capacity to expedite caring for patients at this critical time and working to ease the burden being felt at test processing laboratories in a growing number of areas.

Cargo-only flights transport critical goods

By The Hub team

Cargo-only flights support U.S. military and their families

March 30, 2020

We are helping to keep military families connected by increasing the frequency of cargo-only flights between the United States and military bases in various parts of the world — including Guam, Kwajalein, and several countries in Europe. Last week we began operating a minimum of 40 cargo-only flights weekly — using Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft to fly freight and mail to and from U.S. hubs and key international business and military locations.

We are going above and beyond to find creative ways to transport fresh food and produce, as well as basic essentials from the U.S. mainland to military and their families in Guam/Micronesia. On Saturday, March 28, we operated an exclusive cargo-only B777-300 charter to transport nearly 100,000 pounds of food essentials to Guam to support our troops.

In addition, we move mail year-round all over the world. In response to COVID-19, and in support of the military members and their families overseas, we implemented a charter network, transporting military mail to Frankfurt, which is then transported all over Europe and the Middle East. Since March 20, we have flown 30,000+ pounds of military mail every day between Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and Frankfurt (FRA). On the return flight from Frankfurt to Chicago, we have carried an average of 35,000 pounds of mail to help families stay connected.

"Keeping our military families connected with the goods they need, and keeping them connected with loved ones to feel a sense of home, is of critical importance. As a company that has long supported our military families and veterans, our teams are proud to mobilize to lend a hand." — United Cargo President Jan Krems.


Our cargo-only flights support customers, keep planes moving

March 22, 2020

We have begun flying a portion of our Boeing 777 and 787 fleet as dedicated cargo charter aircraft to transfer freight to and from U.S. hubs and key international business locations. The first of these freight-only flights departed on March 19 from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) with the cargo hold completely full, with more than 29,000 lbs. of goods.

United ramp crew members help place cargo on a United flight

Getting critical goods into the hands of the businesses and people who need them most is extremely important right now. To support customers, employees and the global economy, we will initially operate a schedule of 40 cargo charters each week targeting international destinations and will continue to seek additional opportunities.

With coronavirus (COVID-19) creating an increased need to keep the global supply chain moving, we are utilizing our network capabilities and personnel to get vital shipments, such as medical supplies, to areas that need them most.

"Connecting products to people around the world is the United Cargo mission," said United Cargo President Jan Krems. "That role has never been more crucial than during the current crisis. Our team is working around the clock to provide innovative solutions for our customers and support the global community."

On average, we ship more than 1 billion pounds of cargo every year on behalf of domestic and international customers. For more information, visit unitedcargo.com.

An update from our CEO, Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , March 27, 2020

To our customers,

I hope this note finds you and your loved ones healthy and well.

It is safe to say these past weeks have been among some of the most tumultuous and emotional that any of us can remember in our lifetimes. The impact of the coronavirus outbreak has been felt by individuals and families, companies and communities, across the United States and around the world.

The response to this crisis has been extraordinary; as much for what it has required from our society as for what it has revealed of us as a people.

Far from causing division and discord, this crisis and the social distancing it has required, has allowed us to witness something profound and moving about ourselves: our fond and deeply felt wish to be connected with one another.

The role of connector is one we're privileged to play in the moments that matter most in your life – weddings and graduations, birthdays and business trips, events large and small – and it's that responsibility that motivates us most to get back to our regular service, as soon as possible.

That is why it is so important our government acted on a comprehensive relief act to ensure our airline – and our industry – are ready and able to serve you again when this crisis abates.

I want to relay to you, in as deeply personal a way I can, the heartfelt appreciation of my 100,000 United team members and their families for this vital public assistance to keep America and United flying for you.

This support will save jobs in our business and many others. And it allows us time to make decisions about the future of our airline to ensure that we can offer you the service you deserve and have come to expect as our customers.

While consumer demand has fallen, we have seen the need for our service and capabilities shifted. And, we've adapted to help meet those needs.

Right now, aircraft flying the United livery and insignia, flown by our aviation professionals, have been repurposed to deliver vital medical supplies and goods to some of the places that need it most. We're also using several of our idle widebody aircraft to use as dedicated charter cargo flights, at least 40 times per week, to transfer freight to and from U.S. locations as well as to key international business locations. At the same time, we are working in concert with the U.S. State Department to bring stranded Americans who are trying to return home back to their loved ones.

While much remains uncertain right now, one thing is for sure: this crisis will pass. Our nation and communities will recover and United will return to service you, our customers. When that happens, we want you to fly United with even greater pride because of the actions we took on behalf of our customers, our employees and everyone we serve.

Stay safe and be well,

Oscar Munoz
CEO

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