Brownwood’s second annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration is coming Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. on Center Ave. in downtown Brownwood.   

Presented by the Arts Council of Brownwood, this cultural celebration will feature food and craft vendors, entertainment, contests and prizes. Arts Council treasurer Dean Kiesling said the inaugural celebration drew 2,500 people in 2016, and he hopes to double that total this year.   

“The vendor space has pretty much doubled,” Kiesling said. “It’s going to be full for three blocks.”   

Center Ave. will be blocked off between Chandler and Baker streets for the event.   

On stage at the Lyric Theatre, Austin’s Mariachi Los Toros group is back as the featured entertainment for the evening. They will alternate performances each half-hour with Dallas’s Mexico 2000 Ballet Folklorico group, a new addition to this year’s event.   

At Pat Coursey Park, the Brownwood Art Association will host a special addition of its monthly AMP concert series. Nine different performers will grace the stage during the five-hour festival.   

Food vendors at Cinco de Mayo will include Lupita’s, Taco Rico, Maldonado’s, Jack-A-Don’s, Humphrey Pete’s and Flour Power Bakery. Other vendors will offer products from jewelry to soaps to books.   

There will be plenty of activities for children at the event, with horse-drawn wagon rides available along with face painting, a ring toss and a steady stream of piñatas throughout the evening. Adults can get in on the fun by entering one of the celebration contests, including a homemade salsa competition, a jalapeño eating contest, a grito contest and dance contests.   

Various local restaurants will participate in a salsa contest of their own, including Chili’s, Gomez Restaurant, Humphrey Pete’s, La Botana, Ricardo’s Tortilla Factory and La Sabrosita. Festival attendees can vote on their favorite salsa throughout the evening, with winners announced at 9.   

For more information, or to register for the contests, visit the Arts Council website at There is no admission charge for the celebration.