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March 11 marks the Centennial Anniversary of the Punitive Expedition in chasing Villa after his attack on Columbus, New Mexico. It also is the 18th Binational Cavalry Trail Remembrance Ride. Where members from both sides of the border join in peace and unity to honor the casualties of the 1916 Raid.
A group of at least 60 riders left the Hacienda San Geronimo in Mexico on Feb. 22. Every County in northern Chihuahua pledges five riders plus a sixth man, to serve as a liaison with the group, and make the journey to Puerto Palomas de Villa where the majority of them will have to stay due to policy changes and increasing burdens to cross their horses.
Some riders with the proper legal documents will be able to join the waiting members from all over the USA in the final 3-miles of the Remembrance Ride into Columbus, NM. Participants of the Cabalgata Binacional Villista are celebrated in the Fiesta de Amistad
“We are building bridges when others are building walls'” says Norma Gomez, a founding member of this event. We invite you to come and discover Columbus, NM! Where old Mexico meets New Mexico.
The first Cabalgata Binacional was held in 1999 when riders came together in friendship and hope to spur economic development in the Columbus/Palomas, Chihuahua region.
The Historical Society Museum will be open, and visitors can see many displays and exhibits, or watch a video on the raid. At 10 a.m. Saturday, March 11, the Cabalgantes (riders) will lead the parade for the final three miles of their 15-day ride: destination Columbus.
All day Saturday in the Village Plaza, sample local vendors’ cuisine, watch dancers perform to traditional and authentic Mexican ballet folkloricos, and enjoy the mariachis performance. Other live entertainment will be held throughout the day.
Visitors can also visit the local museums, hear historians recount the tales of the past, enjoy a documentary film, or watch the Camp Furlong 2016 re-enactors in downtown Columbus and Pancho Villa State Park.
Pancho Villa State Park and Museum will host Camp Furlong Days; all events will be held in the Rec Hall featuring historical talks and slideshows.
For more information call the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, or Pancho Villa State Park at 575-531-2711, Columbus Historical Society at 575-531-2620 or the First Aero Squadron at 575-519-1100.