What’s not to love about Cinco de Mayo? Spring has (usually) sprung, ushering in pleasant weather that makes it the 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.
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.
Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood rolls out an annual Cinco de Mayo festival with music, cultural displays, events for children, games and food booths.
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.
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. Music, commemorations, food, and concerts are also part of the celebration.
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.
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.
There are several festivals in the area as well as live entertainment, an auto showcase, and food and drink specials at venues around town.
Tom McCall Waterfront hosts plenty of food and a carnival in honor of Cinco de Mayo.
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. Fanfare includes live Mexican regional music, Spanish rock, Latin jazz, salsa, ranchero, Tex-Mex, and Chicano rock.
The District del Sol, located on St. Paul’s west side, rolls out an all-ages celebration fit for a winning team. There is a separate events section 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.