How Cinco de Mayo helped revitalize Cherokee Street corridor

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Cherokee Street, a very up and coming neighborhood, is getting ready for a huge Cinco de Mayo celebration Saturday.

For the past 15 years, Cherokee Street has celebrated Cinco de Mayo. Travel Pulse rated Cherokee as one of the top five places to celebrate the day in the United States.

The celebration on Cherokee Street is probably a little bit different than most, because Cherokee Street is a little bit different.

Anne McCullough, the executive director of the Cherokee Street Development League, the nonprofit that runs the Cinco de Mayo Festival, said the festival showcases the Latino and Hispanic communities on Cherokee but also promotes all of the diverse cultures in the area.

McCullough said the street has really grown in the past five years with about 20 new businesses opening on it every year, but the real revitalization of the neighborhood started with the Latino and Hispanic communities in this area about 25 to 30 years ago.

Carlos Dominguez opened his store on Cherokee Street in 1991. He said it was the first Mexican grocery store in the City of St. Louis.

“Back then, it was boarded up; we pretty much got free rent back then,” Dominguez said. “Everything is changing, the community is growing and there are a lot of business opening up and a lot of people spending money rebuilding other buildings on Cherokee Street.”

The festival is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. between Nebraska and Jefferson streets and all of the money raised stays in the community.