The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with its Latino Business Alliance and the city of Santa Clarita hosted a Cinco De Mayo celebration on Friday.
The event aimed to honor the Mexican heritage that’s contributed to local businesses and to the community as a whole.
Representing the city at the event was City Councilman Bill Miranda, who founded the Latino Business Alliance in 2009 and served as its CEO for seven years.
Miranda said the event not only celebrated the changing demographics of the business community, but also the change within of the Santa Clarita Valley.
“The chamber has been outstanding and growing the entire community and bringing it together and letting it know that there are cultural differences in our chamber,” said Miranda. “The chamber today, the board of directors, is more diverse than it’s ever been in the history of the chamber… not just diverse in culture, diverse in opinion, diverse in political parties, diverse in sexuality. It’s just extremely diverse and we like that.”
Patsy Ayala, chair of the Latino Business Alliance, clarified what Cinco de Mayo meant and made sure to point out that it was not Mexican Independence Day, which falls on Sept. 16.
Cinco de Mayo is a day that celebrates the Mexican army’s victory in battle over France during the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The day is a relatively minor day in Mexico, but has grown in the United States as a day to celebrate Mexican culture.
“Since we are a business organization, of course, we honor and recognize our Hispanic businesses…. I’m happy that the chamber is open not only to the Latino Business Alliance, but to any community,” said Ayala. “Since this is a symbolic day in the Hispanic community, we celebrate it and the good thing is that today, we can work and we can put new faces and we can create new relationships also to create economic development also that sense of welcoming the diversity, equity and inclusion in the city of Santa Clarita”
Ivan Volschenk, president and CEO of the SCV Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber represents the entire business community — as it comprises multiple ethnicities and cultures.
“This is an important day for the Latino community. So we need to celebrate that with our business alliance and that as well, as (Ayala) said, as bringing new people together,” said Volschenk. “Everybody’s welcome. You’ll see there’s a variety of people, it’s not just open to Latinos, Mexicans, it’s open to everybody. So it’s just bringing everybody together to recognize the contributions of each group (is good) as well.”
Food was provided by California Bakery & Cafe and was served by its owner, Augustine Prieto.