Fireworks Continue amid Swine Flu Fears
Organizers of the Cinco de Mayo festival in Portland Oregon USA said the flu scare is weighing heavily on their minds as they prepare for Friday's grand opening. Festival organizers said they've been in constant contact with health officials, who said there is no reason Cinco de Mayo should not go on as planned. Workers were busy Thursday setting up for the kick-off celebration. Officials said they expect more than 300,000 people to attend the five-day fiesta but there are concerns. Organizers said all week they've been in contact with county and state health officials. They said just because there will be large crowds doesn't mean the festival shouldn't go on.
Organizers said they are making efforts to ensure people feel safe by doubling the amount of hand-washing stations at the fiesta and making sure garbage cans are emptied more frequently. They are also trying to have more health experts on hand to answer questions. Organizers said this is the 25th year of the festival and in all of that time there have never been health problems reported and they plan to continue that tradition."More important than safety I wouldn't compromise it for anything. That said, we're still getting the green light from health officials. They are telling us things will be fine. We will have a good time. I believe them," event organizer John Cardenas said. Friday night there will be fireworks, dozens of food vendors, musicians, artists, and carnival rides.