On March 9, 1916, at the height of the Mexican Revolution, the United States experienced what was to be its last attack by a foreign power when General Francisco “Pancho” Villa and more than 400 of his men attacked the Village of Columbus, New Mexico. During the pre-dawn raid, stores were looted and several buildings were burned. When the smoke cleared, 10 civilians and eight 13th Cavalry soldiers lay dead.
Several days after the attack, General John “Black Jack” Pershing commanded the U.S. Punitive Expeditionary force from Camp Furlong, pursuing Villa deep into Mexico. The First Aero Squadron aided Pershing and flew from the first operational airbase in U.S. history at Columbus. Several towns along the U.S./Mexico border claim the title, but Columbus is this country’s true “birthplace of military aviation”.
It has been 104 years since Villa and his men stormed across the border and attacked the sleepy little village of Columbus. For the past 21 years, riders on horseback from both sides of the border have joined together in peace and unity to commemorate the casualties of Villa’s raid. The annual Cabalgata Binacional – Fiesta de Amistad is hosted by the Village of Columbus and Columbus Chamber of Commerce and will be held Saturday, March 7, 2020 in downtown Columbus Plaza.
Schedule of Events
Friday, March 6, 2020
|All Day||–||Pancho Villa Park Exhibit Hall/Museum opens 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.|
|Columbus Historical Society Depot Museum opens 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.|
|2:45 p.m.||–||Raid Day documentary by local filmmakers – Tumbleweed Theater.
|Roundtable discussion: guests Gloria Jett, Stacey Ravel Abarbanel & Florian Louis|
|4:30-5:00 p.m.||–||Deming to Columbus riders arrive dinner to follow at Pancho Villa Bar & Lounge|
|Dance the night away Fuzion Norteña & Sonora Skandalo|
Saturday, March 7, 2020
|9:00-1 p.m.||–||New Art Show & Reception at Columbus Village Library on Broadway|
|9:30 a.m.||–||Performances in Village Plaza by local musicians Sin Fronteras Band (Olivia Paez, Martha Griffin, Rosa Flores, July McClure)|
|10:00 a.m.||–||Parade blessing and smudging by Chiricahua/Mescalero – Apache Alliance Council|
|Remembrance Ride/Parade starts at Port of Entry US/Mexico border|
|Presentation of colors by El Paso Sheriff’s Posse|
|National Anthems USA & Mexico – Sergio Figueroa|
|11:30 a.m.||–||Welcome by Columbus Mayor Salas and Chamber of Commerce – Village Plaza|
|Recognition of Dignitaries from the U.S.A./Mexico, Emcee Roberto Gutierrez|
|12:00 noon||–||Binational efforts to promote goodwill – representatives for Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small and Senator Tom Udall|
|Presentation of Certificates, Norma Gomez and Omar Simental|
|Lunch for participants, Spirit of Columbus building – Coordinator Isabel Gomez|
|12:30 p.m.||–||Intro to entertainment* DJ Mario Moreno|
|Ballet Folklorico Corazon de Luna – Director Lola Cisneros (2 sets)|
|Mariachis – pending confirmation TBA|
|Canciones de mi padre – Sergio Figueroa|
|*ENTERTAINMENT SUBJECT TO CHANGE|
|10–3 p.m.||–||Camp Furlong Day- Pancho Villa State Park.|
|10:30 a.m. Birds of Prey Presentation by Laura McCann|
|1-3 pm – Guest speakers: Glenn Minnuth; Ric Lambart; Michael Archie Hayes|
|3:00 p.m.||–||Announcement for Best dressed of the Era – Park Plaza|
|All Day||–||Walking trails tour of historic markers within two blocks – Columbus Historical Society|
|Take your picture in the historic Old Jail|
Vendors in the Plaza serving up your favorite foods, cold drinks, memorabilia and more!
Monday, March 9, 2020
|10 a.m.||–||Memorial Service – Columbus Historical Society Depot Museum Memorial Garden|
For more information call: Columbus Chamber of Commerce (575-343-0147) or (575-494-0009);
Pancho Villa State Park (575-531-2711); Columbus Historical Society (575-531-2620); or First Aero Squadron (575-519-1100)