10 Cities to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the USAWhat’s not to love about Cinco de Mayo? Spring has sprung, bringing with it lovely weather that makes for a perfect excuse to be out and about and celebrating. Inspired by a battle in 1862 known as the Battle of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the turning point where General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French forces. The battle itself is celebrated to this day in Puebla, and cities all across the US also get in on the action. Here are some great places to get your Cinco de Mayo fun and culture this spring.
New York, New York
When it comes to the “Big Apple” celebrants can take their pick with neighborhoods across the five boroughs hosting events. In Manhattan, 116th street hosts its Cinco de Mayo festival, a free event with live music, food, and folklore. Tequila enthusiasts are encouraged to check out the Tijuana Picnic on the Lower East Side, and over at the Hester Street Fair, there are food offerings including pork shoulder al pastor in addition to shopping for Mexican made wares such as handmade clothing and ceramics.
Pro traveler tip: Take an NYC harbor cruise with New York Booze Cruise. Enjoy margaritas, enchiladas, and Mexican music from the comfort of a luxury yacht.
Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood rolls out an annual Cinco de Mayo festival with music, cultural displays, events for children, games, and food booths. The Chicago Loop hosts parties and celebrations starting on the third. Get more details here. Dance the night away at Duet Dance Studio and move to the rhythms of Merengue, Salsa, Bachata, and Cha Cha. For runners, participate in the Cinco de Mayo 5k and run with others around the Montrose Harbor. There’ll be plenty of margaritas to quench your thirst afterward!
Pro traveler tip: Be a part of the biggest event the city has to offer, The Cinco de Mayo Parade!
Over 100,000 visitors are expected to be on hand to enjoy Reno’s festival. In addition to music and food booths with festive food and drinks, Reno is known for putting on a show with dancing horses and its carnival rides. Aside from the special events, Reno boasts a massive list of Mexican restaurants that all put on Cinco de Mayo events. Check out Miguel’s Mexican Food for great margaritas and tasty appetizers like their queso fundido or a tasty bowl of ceviche. Chihuahua’s Cantina & Grill is serving up some great cuisine from northern Mexico like pozole, aguachile, or some killer steak fajitas!
Pro traveler tip: Try a glass of Mezcal at Estalla. Enjoy your smokey beverage with some unbelievable carnitas or get there for brunch and have a plate of chilaquiles.
San Antonio, Texas
Market Square, which was founded in the 1820s and continues to go strong in the present day, is the place to be on Cinco de Mayo. With over 100 shops to choose from, Market Square gives an impressive array of choices as part of its festival. In San Antonio, music, commemorations, food, and concerts are also part of the celebration. There are also a ton of great restaurants to choose from like Casa Rio right on the riverwalk.
Pro traveler tip: Enjoy great Mexican dishes and drinks at La Fonda on Main, a Mexican restaurant that initially opened its doors almost a century ago! Try the huitlacoche empanadas and start your meal with a campechana, a seafood blend of scallops, shrimp, and octopus served on tostadas and topped with pico de gallo. Be sure to get a reservation, as this place fills up quickly on Cinco de Mayo.
The nation’s capital holds various events, including a running of the Chihuahuas, alongside festivals with arts, crafts, food, drinks, activities, and live music. There are several marathons in the area, and the Around the World Embassy Tour happens, with embassies across the globe opening their doors to the public.
Pro traveler tip: Check out the Mexican Cultural Institue for an unforgettable Cinco de Mayo presentation which includes mariachi and a reenactment of the Battle of Puebla.
San Francisco, California
The Mission neighborhood in San Francisco puts on an all-day block party and show in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Events include cultural entertainment and a pub crawl. The Lucha Libre wrestlers also hold a show, and interested attendees can take a tour of the nearby Mission Dolores. And of course, there’s a ton of great Mexican food, drinks, and music happening all over the city.
Pro traveler tip: Head to Half Moon Bay just outside of San Francisco for some mariachi and fun. The event happens annually at Mac Dutra Park in downtown Half Moon Bay.
San Diego, California
San Diego offers several festivals in the area as well as live entertainment, an auto showcase, and food and drinks specials at venues around town. Meander around Old Town with 100,000+ others for tacos, margaritas, and ice-cold, Mexican beer. Make sure to check out the celebration in Balboa Park, an all-day event that has Mexican arts and crafts as well as tons of music and dance performances.
Pro traveler tip: Fiesta Old Town hosts an incredible Cinco de Mayo event that includes more than 40 different bands and a ton of food and drinks vendors.
Tom McCall Waterfront hosts plenty of food and a carnival in honor of Cinco de Mayo, making Portland another worthy addition to this list. In the Plaza de Niños, kids can get their faces painted or enjoy arts and crafts. Parents can hang out in their own area.
Pro traveler tip: Mariachi Ciudad de Guadalajara flies in annually to give several performances throughout the celebration. Do not miss a chance to hear one of the most renowned mariachi bands in the world!
Denver’s two-day outdoor festival draws a crowd of 400,000 people who gather to partake of the Cinco de Mayo Celebrate Culture Festival. Some of the Denver fanfare includes live Mexican regional music, Spanish rock, Latin jazz, salsa, ranchero, Tex-Mex, and Chicano rock.
Pro traveler tip: The Colorado Symphony teams up with Mexican Cultural Center to collaborate on spectacular music and dance. Get all the information here.
The District del Sol, located on St. Paul’s west side, rolls out an all-ages celebration fit for a winning team. The Twin Cities also have separate events for children who attend the festivities, while everyone can enjoy a parade, music, food, and a salsa tasting contest. There is also a wellness village for festival-goers.
Pro traveler tip: Get over to Minneapolis and spend your Cinco de Mayo on Lake Street. The neighborhood hosts a big party that is sure to make you feel like you’re in Puebla, MX. Eat delicious food and bring the kids. There are a ton of activities for them.
Plan Your Cinco de Mayo Trip Today!
The US has a bunch of cities that celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Whether you want something on the coast or an inland party for your festivities, there’s something for everyone. Get over to VacationRenter today to start planning your Cinco de Mayo celebration!