Old Town throws annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Old Town throws annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's billed as the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration north of the border. 

People packed into historic Old Town Sunday for the 31st Annual Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo festival -- which features everything from traditional music to food and drinks.

The sights and sounds of Old Town this weekend prove there's no better place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than right here in San Diego.

"Oh...it's awesome. It's just natural and organic what comes out of the city," said one partygoer. 

What started in the 80's as a small party has turned into the largest celebration of its kind north of the border, complete with live entertainment, a beer garden, retail and food vendors, even a petting zoo.

Organizers say this event brings in 200,000 people over two days. It's not only a chance for them to celebrate Cinco de Mayo but it's also great for business.

Business owners say they see a huge spike in revenue on a weekend like this. We saw several long lines outside restaurants.

To make sure the crowd stayed safe, San Diego police, as well as private security guards were on hand. We also spotted Pedra, an explosive sniffing dog who arrived here from Hearst Castle.

"You know generally we provide as much security as possible and so if we're available we travel. We have a number of dogs in the state...but none in this area."

Keeping the event peaceful is crucial to continuing its legacy. 

A legacy filled with culture, tradition and history -- everything the event was originally designed to be about.

One organizer said, "Most importantly, this is the birthplace of California, so this is the history of where San Diego really started, so what better place to have the Fiesta Cinco de Mayo."

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