Every May 5, people across Mexico and America party in tribute of Mexican culture. Not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day (which falls in September), Cinco de Mayo historically commemorates a Mexican battle triumph over an invading French army in 1862.
While festivities take place throughout Mexico, none are more intense than those in Puebla, the location of the celebrated battle. Fiestas typically see music, feasts, parades and firework displays. Many places stage re-enactments of the battle, some of which are taken a little too seriously – stories of injuries are commonplace.
But it’s in the United States where Cinco de Mayo is most popularly celebrated. For most Americans, Cinco de Mayo is an excuse for families and friends to get together and enjoy the first of the year’s good weather – Mexican style. Although not exclusively so, the day is very much an indulgence of mariachi bands and piñatas, and tacos and tequila. And why not – those are the Mexican exports that America holds dearest to its heart.
Falling on Saturday this year, Cinco de Mayo festivities promise to be the best for years. While heading out for margaritas and Mexican food is a given, there’s a number of events organized events that’ll help you capture a kind of Mexican spirit beyond tequila. Here’s a quick lowdown of the best.
Hit the street fair on 43rd between Lexington and 3rd Avenue, before tackling the $20 Cinco de Mayo bar crawl, which promises discount draft beers and margaritas at several dozen of the city’s watering holes.
Catch the Maru Monteru Dance Company on the National Mall near the Washington Monument from noon. Professional dancers will perform salsa, tango, cha-cha and many other dances dressed in brightly colored traditional costume.
Join the largest Mexican-American community in Orange County as they enjoy two days’ worth of festivities including carnival rides, music, dance and food.
Many of Sin City’s hotels, bars and restaurants will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo, the pick of which being Señor Frog’s at Treasure Island which boasts an all-day, “anything goes” party overlooking the Las Vegas Strip.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…