HOUSTON, May 5 (UPI) -- The holiday Cinco de Mayo is a minor event in Mexico while its popularity in U.S. cities is due in large part to savvy marketers, authorities said.
Cinco de Mayo marks the Battle of Puebla and the Mexican army's defeat of the French army May 5, 1861.
Cinco de Mayo was to be commemorated Wednesday in the state of Puebla and with a small ceremony in Mexico City, with other Mexican cities largely ignoring it, the Houston Chronicle reported.
In the United States, however, Cinco de Mayo was to be celebrated with festivals and parades in numerous cities including Atlanta, Raleigh, N.C., Midvale, Utah, and Omaha, Neb.
The holiday crossed over into the United States in the 1950s and 1960s but didn't gain popularity until the 1980s when marketers, especially beer companies, capitalized on the celebratory nature of the day and began to promote it, the Chronicle reported.