ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – For Abilene local Nora Silva, piñatas play a large role in Mexican culture. Silva said piñatas are used for every celebration you can think of, from birthdays and posadas to anniversaries. For her, it serves as a symbol of her Mexican roots.

“My family that’s still over there and all my memories when I was a kid,” said Silva.

Every year she participates in the Cinco de Mayo parade in Abilene. She decorates her car with piñatas to celebrate Latino traditions. Her favorite part of it all is seeing people of different backgrounds coming together to learn about the culture.

“Think about our roots. Never forget about where we came from, Mexico, and maybe some people, they don’t know about us and now they know,” shared Silva.

Ricardo Gutierrez is one of the Cinco de Mayo parade organizers. To him, it’s the perfect opportunity to teach younger generations about Mexican culture.

“Our traditions, our culture, our heritage, our language – has been lost or keeps losing its meaning throughout the generations that are coming and we don’t want that,” Gutierrez explained.

Since the pandemic, it has been difficult to draw in large crowds to the parade, but Gutierrez said informing the community about its significance and culture can bring those crowds back. His favorite part is the parade is held in north Abilene.

“The north side, it is los barrios and so el barrio will have their own parade and still has their own parade and we want everyone to know,” shared Gutierrez.

The Abilene Cinco de Mayo parade begins Friday, May 5. Lineup begins at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Mann Middle School tennis courts. The parade ends at Sears Park with a free festival for the community.