Celebrations of Mexican heritage will take place throughout the local area with a variety of festivities planned on the weekend prior to Cinco de Mayo. Here are a couple of examples:

Fiesta and classic car show in Santa Monica

Virginia Avenue Park in Santa Monica is hosting a free Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and Classic Car Show from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3rd. Visitors are encouraged to come sing and dance at this colorful show of Mexican culture, music and dance.

The entertainment line-up includes award winning Mariachi Estrella de Jalisco, the ten-piece salsa band Bomba Chante, and Ballet Folklorico. The mistress of ceremony is award winning performance artist Maria Elena Gaitan.

Also featured are children’s Mexican arts and crafts, carnival games and food including tamales from Gallegos, tacos, enchiladas, cool drinks from Jamba Juice, and hot dogs from Earlez Grill, including vegetarian chili. Last year 2,000 people representing generations of Westside families attended the festivities. Shaded seating is also provided.

The Pico Improvement Organization is sponsoring the Classic Car Show, organized by Andrew Gomez with support from Biar’s Keystone Bodyshop and Pacific Motors. The car show will feature classic, vintage, muscle cars, low riders, trucks and specialty vehicles.

Car show exhibitors will compete for the Mayor’s Choice Trophy judged by Santa Monica Mayor Ken Genser, and the Chief’s Trophy judged by Santa Monica Police Chief Timothy Jackman and Fire Chief Jim Hone. Trophies will also be awarded for “Best In Class” in various categories.

Virginia Avenue Park is located on the northwest corner of Pico and Cloverfield Boulevards. Visitors and neighbors are encouraged to walk, bicycle or park for free at Santa Monica College “Structure A” at the corner of Pico and 17th Street.

Information, (310) 458-8688.

Mar Vista Farmers Market group performance

A group performance and musical event for neighborhood residents and families will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 3rd at the Mar Vista Farmers Market, followed by an announcement about open Internet for everyone in Mar Vista.

The event will coincide with the farmers market’s annual Cinco de Mayo festival, a day of celebration of Mexican culture featuring the nine-piece Cumbia band OPA OPA, and performances by Folkloriko Veracruzano, Dino Castro, Son Mestizo, Katty Guitierrez, and Danza de los Viejitos de Grand View Elementary.

Other activities include pi“atas, booths featuring art, crafts and jewelry, and neighborhood artisan vendors. The market offers

fruits, flowers and vegetables from local Southern California farmers.

The farmers market is at Venice and Grand View Boulevards in Mar Vista. Admission is free.

Information, www.openmarvista.net/joy.htm/.