After a successful first year, Janneth and Isidro Tamayo, owners of Mezcal Taberna Mexicana in Downtown Spartanburg are again bringing a multi-cultural party to downtown in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.
Downtown Spartanburg’s second Cinco de Mayo Festival is set for May 4, and Mezcal pulled out all the stops this year. Janneth said about 6,000 people showed up for the first festival – and she would’ve been happy with one-third of that. After seeing the diversity of last years’ event, Janneth jumped into overdrive to grow this year’s event.
“This time around, we’ve noticed the festival is getting bigger and bigger. Last year it was only 4-9 p.m., this year, it’s 12-10 p.m. Last year, we only had seven vendors, and just a handful of sponsors. This year, we’re having at least 20 vendors of selling food and other items, along with 20 other sponsorships,” she said. “We’re also bringing an international band – Oro Solido – with that itself, it’s expected to bring 6,000 people because it’s a free event. Latinos will travel to Charlotte, Atlanta to see this band. Welcoming them to Spartanburg is something that fills us with pride and joy.”
Along with Oro Solido, the Cinco de Mayo Festival will bring in a Brazilian dance troupe from Charleston and a group called The Aztecs from Atlanta. Not only is the event diverse, Janneth said, it’s a showcase of regional Hispanic talent.
“We want to welcome everyone to our retail and restaurants in Downtown Spartanburg and see it grow as a community,” she said. “I’m proud to say it’s our second festival. I had never put on a festival in my life, I didn’t know all of the challenges and all of that. It’s kind of like a second job for me. With the International Festival, and it being so put together and well done, we thought we’d hop along. With Delaney’s doing such a good job with St. Patrick’s Day, and Cribb’s with the burger (cookoff) event, we picked up with Cinco de Mayo. It’s not only Mexico that celebrates it, but it’s South America’s Independence Day…we wanted to bring a multi-cultural thing to Downtown Spartanburg.”
Janneth said she’s excited to use the Cinco de Mayo Festival as a way to usher in warmer weather and bigger crowds not only to her restaurant, but throughout downtown. To celebrate, Mezcal will soon unveil a revamped menu more focused on popular Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, of high-demand from diners.
She aims to make the Cinco de Mayo Festival an annual event in Downtown Spartanburg, growing in popularity each year and serving as a way to bring new people downtown by showing them the diversity of what downtown has to offer and how welcoming the residents and businesses are.
“I don’t see myself different than any other restaurants that are working at it like we are,” she said. “Come here, you know, but also go to Nacho Taco, also go to Burrito Hub, but not just them, go to The Crepe Factory, come to downtown and support downtown because downtown needs all its locals. There’s something for everyone. The vibe, the atmosphere down here, people are so friendly, so welcoming. I haven’t run into anyone without a smile on their face. We’re all accepting and welcoming of each other.”
The second-annual Cinco de Mayo Festival is from 12-10 p.m. on May 4 in Morgan Square. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Chapman Cultural Center to support its work supporting arts and multi-culturalism in Spartanburg.