OGDEN -- Car shows, artwork and dancing are some of the activities that will celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
In 1862, a ragtag group of Mexicans fought back the army of Napolean III, helping oust French occupiers from Mexican soil.
On the 150th anniversary of the famous battle, Latinos from diverse backgrounds in Utah -- not just Mexicans -- will use the day to share their culture with the community.
Beginning Thursday, Weber State University will host a Viva Frida exhibition at the Kimball Arts Building Gallery, 3850 Harrison Blvd., in Ogden.
The exhibition, which runs through May 18, features original work by the famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, along with pieces from high school students in the Ogden School District and local artists.
The Kahlo work is on loan to the state from Mexico through the Utah Artes de Mexico program.
The university will have a free reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, to celebrate the exhibition at the Kimball gallery.
During the event, the community will learn more about the work of Kahlo, see performances of traditional Mexican dances and experience a variety of Latino culture, said Monica Rodriguez Mesa, adviser to the WSU Hispanic Area Council.
"The children over here grow up thinking that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day," Rodriguez said.
These events help teach why people emigrate to the United States and the contributions diverse cultures make to the U.S.
"We do not want to market this as a Mexican event, but a diversity event," Rodriguez said. "We are all indigenous, we are all diverse and we all like art."
For more information about the event or for transportation questions, call Rodriguez at 801-626-7303 or 801-866-9475.
On Saturday, the Marshall White Community and Recreation Center, 222 28 St., in Ogden, will hold its annual Cinco de Mayo event.
Scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event will include a car show, Ballet Folklorico and a variety of booths and activities for the community. For more information about the Marshall White Center event, call 801-629-8616 or email email@example.com.
The Weber County Library also sponsors Cinco de Mayo-related events.
"We always try to have them the closest we can to Cinco de Mayo," Library Specialist Carlos Camacho said.
Families can watch performances of Ballet Folklorico and participate in arts and crafts activities.
Two performances are scheduled this year.
The first will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Pleasant Valley Branch, 5568 S. Adams Ave., in Washington Terrace.
The second will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Main Library, 2464 Jefferson Ave., in Ogden.
"It is a very important celebration in Mexico, but in the United States it is more transcendental," Camacho said.
Camacho believes more activities are held in the United States than in Mexico, and he said that for him as a Mexican that is a great honor.