Cinco de Mayo in Ottawa was a little extra authentic this year at Lansdowne’s Horticulture Building, where the Mexican embassy was showcasing art, food and culture as part of “Ottawa Welcomes the World.”

The event series involves almost 50 different countries hosting weekends until December, including Kenya, Poland, Cuba, India and Japan. Mexico’s weekend, from May 5 to 7, was the fifth event so far this year.

“The idea is to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada,” said embassy press attache Oscar Mora. “We wanted to participate, it’s a great idea by Jim Watson to organize the event and involve the international community in the celebration, so we wanted to take that opportunity.”

Mora said in 1960 Canada offered a gift to Mexico to celebrate their 150th anniversary, so the ambassador wanted to return the gesture.

The event was busy despite the heavy rain all weekend, with an estimated 12,300 people having attended by Sunday afternoon.

Mexico’s ministry of tourism led the organizing of the event, and 15 different Mexican states contributed people and art for the multimedia experience, which included dance, crafts, music, photography, carving and food demonstrations.

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