RICHMOND -- Two of the area's most beloved Cinco de Mayo events are set for Saturday and Sunday in San Pablo and Richmond, respectively.

The San Pablo/Richmond Peace and Unity Parade and Festival begins at Richmond Civic Center Plaza at 10 a.m. Saturday and arrives at San Pablo City Hall, where the annual festival at St. Paul Church, 1845 Church Lane in San Pablo, will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free family festival will have children's games, food, vendors and live entertainment. The event is alcohol-free.

The 23rd Street Merchant's Association in Richmond will host its eighth annual Cinco de Mayo festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday along a one-mile stretch of 23rd Street.

Thousands attend the Richmond event every year, when 23rd Street is blocked to vehicle traffic to make room for vendor food booths, crafts, dancing, classic car displays and live music and other entertainment.

The holiday has its roots in the Mexican victory over France at the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Community members of all backgrounds celebrate the day as the symbol of Mexican culture and heritage.

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726 or rrogers@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/sfbaynewsrogers.