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18 • MARCH 2019

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COMMEMORATION • JULY MCCLURE

20th Cabalgata Binacional Columbus recognizes Villa’s influence March 9

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olumbus Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Columbus host the 20th Cabalgata Binacional and Fiesta de Amistad. The annual Cabalgata (horse procession) started the last week in February near Guerrero, Mexico when Mexican cabalgantes set off (gathering riders as they head north) along the route Gen. “Blackjack Pershing” and his U.S. cavalry took 103 years ago as they chased Pancho Villa into Mexico after his attack on the sleepy, dusty little village of Columbus. Eighteen Americans and an estimated 100-400 Villistas were killed and a large part of Columbus was left in smoldering ruins after the raid which began in the early morning hours of March 9, 1916.

After two weeks on the trail, the Cabalgata will reach Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico on Friday, March 8, where they will be honored guests at celebrations. The long journey will end Saturday, March 9, with a threemile “Ride of Remembrance” as the Mexican riders join American riders at the U.S./Mexico Port of Entry. The group will parade three and a half miles north along N.M. Highway 11 to the Columbus Village Plaza. The Remembrance Ride commemorates those killed in the 1916 Raid. “It also is meant to unite communities on both sides of the border as good neighbors and friends, and to boost tourism, economic development and cultivate the unique border culture of the area, according to

organizer Norma Gomez of the Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the parade of horses and riders, this year’s event features ceremonies, presentations, musical performances, folklorico dancers, a commemorative service on Columbus Historical grounds, vendors, Columbus Library activities and speakers at Pancho Villa State Park which will present its annual Camp Furlong Day. All day entertainment starts at 9:30 a.m. The parade is expected to reach the Plaza in Columbus between 11 and 11:30 a.m. For information, to reserve a vendor space, ride your horse in the parade, perform, volunteer or make a donation to the Chamber to help defray costs call 575343-0147 or 575-494-0009.

Riders arrive in Columbus, N.M. from Mexico in 2016 as part of the Cabalgata Binacional for the 100th commemoration of Pancho Villa’s raid. (Photo by Elva K. Österreich)

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