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St. Paul spices up Saturday with early Cinco de Mayo celebration

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It isn't Cinco de Mayo quite yet, but it feels like it in St. Paul Saturday.

Thousands came out to the Cinco De Mayo Festival in the District Del Sol on the west side of St. Paul, WCCO reports.

The festival kicked off with a parade, and the day's events include food, music and dancing.

Several members of the Hit Squad street gang were barred from participating in the day's events by the St. Paul City Attorney's office.

A Ramsey County judge ordered a temporary restraining order against the gang and eight members, who must stay away from the festival, the Star Tribune reports.

The city called the gang the "violent" in court and said their presence is growing in St. Paul, according to the Star Tribune. Crimes tied to the group include attempted murder, assault, robbery and drive-by shootings.

This isn't the first time the city has taken action to prevent gang activities at public events. The city took similar measures in 2009.

Minneapolis has its own Cinco De Mayo party next Sunday May 10 from noon - 7 p.m. on Lake Street.

Before you go out to celebrate Tuesday, brush up on your holiday trivia. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's independence day. May 5 marks the 1862 battle at Puebla when Mexican soldiers beat the French.

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