To Edgerton Mayor Bob Day, the village’s Town Park (also known as Village Central Park) is the crown jewel property of the community.
And the park between East Edgerton Street and the railroad tracks in the center of the village will be the place to be Wednesday, May 5. From noon to 7 p.m. that day, the village is putting on a Cinco de Mayo celebration that will include family-friendly food, shopping and music, Day and village administrator Dawn Fitzcharles announced this past week.
Fitzcharles said the idea came after the village helped promote a food truck on St. Patrick’s Day in March.
“It was a success and our residents and businesses loved it. Many asked when we could do it again, so we thought we would try this,” she said.
Day said a day-long Cinco de May outdoor celebration is another way to emphasize the village’s downtown and get residents outside as COVID-19 restrictions are loosening.
“I believe Town Park is our crown jewel property of the community that has gone virtually unused, especially since our town hall blew down in 2011, so we are looking to utilize it any way we can. Small events or large, getting people out and downtown is a win for all,” said Day, who recently convened the Edgerton Park Board after a 10-year hiatus, and has pushed to emphasize the village’s downtown and its recreational opportunities.
Fitzcharles said the 3.75-acre Town Park has memorial trees, a picnic area and a bandstand. And a food truck parked there May 5 will be offering street tacos, chips and guacamole and other culinary items.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, a popular misconception. Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862, victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
Fitzcharles said the Cinco de Mayo event is hopefully the beginning of other similar community events in Edgerton, saying, “The desire of the village is to increase recreational opportunities that promote inclusive cultural or sporting events, increasing physical activity opportunities and socializing with friends outside their homes.”
“I believe what makes villages special compared to urban areas are the closeness of the people ... the family feel. We have endured what 2020 brought our way and now it is time for us to safely begin to come back together and, on this day, celebrate not only the Mexican victory over the French in 1862 but celebrate what we hope is a small step to restoring normal life in Edgerton.”