Cinco de Mayo coronation Sunday; Aceves parade Grand Marshal

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The 30th annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration and Parade are planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30. This year’s parade Grand Marshal is Carlos Aceves.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. from Gardena Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue in downtown Gardena, and end at Fukai Park. There will be food, folk dancing, crafts, classic cars and the 2016 Miss Cinco de Mayo queen and her court.

The 30th annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration and Parade are planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30. This year’s parade Grand Marshal is Carlos Aceves.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. from Gardena Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue in downtown Gardena, and end at Fukai Park. There will be food, folk dancing, crafts, classic cars and the 2016 Miss Cinco de Mayo queen and her court.

The Miss Cinco de Mayo Coronation is planned for Sunday, April 23. Candidates are Jacqueline Garcia, a student at Narbonne High in Harbor City; Vanessa Lopez, who attends the California Academy of Math and Science; and Janette Rodriguez of Gardena High School

All events are sponsored by the Cinco de Mayo Scholarship and Festival Committee.

Carlos Aceves was born in 1954, in the small town of El Saucillo de Maldonado in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. He was raised in the nearby town of Tlaquepaque.

At an early age, Aceves went to work in the fields with his dad, a single father. His mother died when he was only a year and a half.

After arriving in California in 1974, Aceves worked at two jobs — making airplane parts in the day, and laboring in a tile factory at night in Gardena. He toiled at two jobs for various companies over the course of 10 years. Aceves met his wife Maria in 1975, and together they have raised a family of three children.

Understanding the value of education, Carlos and Maria worked to send their children to private schools. By 1983, they became involved in church activities at St. Anthony of Padua in Gardena. The couple led the Guadalupano group for almost 20 years, and continue to served their parish community if various ways.

Carlos and a business partner opened T&C Body Shop, of which he later bought out the partner, and is now the sole owner. He has owned his business for the last 33 years.

In 1991, Aceves accepted an invite by Dan Medina to take part in the Sports Advisory Board’s carnival for the city of Gardena. This was the  beginning of Carlos’ involvement in City activities, which led to his becoming an active member of the Cinco de Mayo Celebration Committee. He was one of the individuals to suggest the idea of the Miss Cinco de Mayo pageant.

“Carlos has always been dedicated to his family,” friend Dan Medina said. “He is someone who, day after day, lens a hand to those around him. He always strives to have a positive attitude and loves a good joke or two.”

Aceves also has a penchant for singing with Mariachi in his spare him. He will be this year’s Grand Marshal of the City of Gardena’s Cinco de Mayo Parade and festivities.

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