RICHMOND (CBS SF) — Thousands gathered in Richmond Sunday for the city’s annual ‘Day After Cinco’ festival — a celebration filled with music, food and the Bay Area’s Mexican heritage.

Richmond High Band Director Andrew Wilke’s musicians were one of the hits of the day.

“Yesterday was (Cinco De Mayo) and, you know, it’s Richmond, so we stretch it out,” he told KPIX 5. “It’s all good!”

City officials shut down 23rd St. and various estimates put the crowd at between 50,000 and 100,000 as people commemorated the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when the Mexicans won a victory over the powerful French army.

But Gabino Arredondo told KPIX 5 the current political environment in Washington made this year’s celebration even more important.

“There’s a lot of attacks on immigrant community, Latino community, in general,” he said.

The party provided Richmond residents with a mixture of music, traditional dancing and a chance to show pride in their homeland without anyone taking offense.

“It is, like, the one day that people bring out their flags and wave it around,” said Leslie Gonzalez. “They feel free doing it, and so, it feels really good.”

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