DENVER (CBS4)– The Denver Police Department is boosting patrols this weekend for Denver’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Traffic delays and heavy congestion are also expected for drivers traveling through downtown and along Federal Boulevard.
Denver police sent this message to those planning to celebrate: “Have fun. But most importantly, do it in a safe manner,” said Denver Police Cmdr. Mark Fleecs.
Officers will patrol the “cruising zone” along Federal Boulevard mostly between Florida Avenue and 6th Avenue to manage or divert traffic as needed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Police will also be on the lookout for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, along with other crimes that have occurred during the popular holiday.
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“We’re going to be looking for things, violations that really affect public safety. Careless, reckless driving, street racing… noise violations. We have to be mindful of the community. There are residents that do live along Federal Boulevard that are affected by it,” Fleecs said.
Organizers expect the 30th annual Cinco de Mayo Festival at Civic Center Park to draw between 300,000 and 400,000 people.
“Celebrating culture and diversity,” said Luis Romero, a longtime stage producer for the event.
Romero said that the live musical performances, traditional dances, and tasty treats would be sure to impress.
“We want to invite everybody down to enjoy themselves,” Romero said. “This is culture. This is family. Bring your kids. We’ve got a carnival, we’ve got everything going on down here.”
Some roads near the Cinco de Mayo Festival will be closed to traffic during the weekend celebration.
The festival at Civic Center Park kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. and lasts until 8 p.m. It starts again on Sunday morning, from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.
The Cinco de Mayo Parade begins 11 a.m. Saturday at Colfax Avenue and Welton.