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Things will be muy caliente (very spicy) in la Ciudad de Deadwood (the city of Deadwood) for the annual Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May) celebration that is sure to provide ambos familias con ninos, y adultos (both families with children, and adults) un bueno tiempo (a great time).

And as in past years, the citywide, daylong celebration will provide an opportunity for visitors and locals — both children and adults — to party down Mexican-style while also providing direct benefits to area children since the main benefactor of the charity event is the Northern Hills Alliance for Children, Preschool and Child Care Center in Deadwood.

The festival, set for Saturday, May 6, honors the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces in 1862. Unless a specific charge applies, most events are free, especially for children.

Deadwood's sixth annual Cinco de Mayo Festival is a great way to get outside, weather permitting, to experience the spirit of camaraderie and South of the Border style of this fun-filled event. The main beneficiary of the proceeds is the Northern Hills Alliance for Children preschool and child care center in Deadwood. Right now, the organization serves roughly 100 children in Deadwood and another 60 or so at its companion facility in Sturgis.

Kayla Klein, executive director of the alliance, said she and her group are thankful for the energy, community support and funding provided by the Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Klein said the event has a family friendly vibe that makes it special among the many events held in Deadwood.

"It's really based all around kids and family fun," she said. "Of course, there are adult beverages, but the primary focus is for kids to have a good time."

She said the alliance sees the support from the Deadwood Area Chamber of Commerce, and the donation of event proceeds, as big benefits because the funds received are not tied to any single program or project.

"These are unrestricted funds, which is nice because those can go toward getting our staff better education and training so they can be the best teachers they can be," Klein said.

According to the organization's website, the group seeks to "serve the families of the Northern Hills and provide educational and social experience to help our children strive. Our primary goal is to see that children enter Kindergarten well prepared and have their best chance at success. Our focus is in Math, Literacy, basic academia and also social and emotional skills. We work with the whole family, focus on community outreach and involvement and maintain a positive and progressive approach to education."

Previous events have raised in the neighborhood of $3,000 for the local charity.

Back by popular demand are the Black Hills miniature trains as part of a day filled with numerous other child-friendly activities. There will be bouncy houses and big slides and a petting zoo. For dinner, an all-you-can-eat taco buffet will be served for a donation of $10 at the Buffalo Bodega complex.

Adults can sample a number of margaritas in the Margarita March, which will go down just like it sounds. Patrons pay $15, then march around downtown Deadwood, stopping at several locations to try a new and different style or margarita each time.

At night, things heat up with free live music at the Stockade at the Buffalo Bodega Complex.

"Every year, we have a ton of fun, and more and more families come out," Klein said.

Esta una primera fiesta en la mes de Mayo en las montanas del norte negro, y es gratis! (It's the best festival in the month of May in the Northern Black Hills, and it's free!)

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Contact Max B. O'Connell at 394-8427 or

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