All across the US and Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is fiesta time for celebrants of all nationalities. If everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, then everyone is a lot Mexican on the 5th of May!
On May 5, 1862, outmanned Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza kept the town of Puebla, Mexico safe against a fierce French army. Although Cinco de Mayo is not the official day of Mexican independence, over time it has come to symbolize the potent blend of Mexican heritage and pride.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations are fantastic venues in which to witness traditional folklorico dancers, listen to the brassy sounds of a mariachi band, or just enjoy the authentic flavors of traditional Mexican food. Here are a few of the best festivals to consider downing an ice cold margarita come May 5.
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Since beautiful San Diego is a gateway city into Mexico, it makes sense that its Cinco de Mayo celebrations are lengthy and legendary. The coastal town puts on a two-day fiesta at three distinct venues, with an emphasis on being family-friendly. There is a dedicated children’s stage, as well as strolling Mexican bands ready to serenade at the drop of a peso! Visitors definitely won’t want to miss the fiesta’s faithful and detailed depiction of the Battle of Puebla.
Every year thousands of revelers travel to Portland, Oregon where the Cinco de Mayo festivities carry on over the course of three days. Tourists are treated to traditional Mexican mariachi bands as well modern music concerts. Mexican folklorico dancing takes place on several stages and there is no shortage of
vibrant Mexican food, with fresh seafood a featured ingredient.
With its considerable Mexican-American population, the great state of Texas offers several muy authentico Cinco de Mayo experiences. The celebration in San Antonio, home of the Alamo, is worth a visit for travelers looking to take in a bit of history with their margaritas! San Antonio’s Market Square is where all the action takes place, including Tex-Mex food, concerts, and Mexican folk dancing, on May 5.
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Cinco de Mayo in Chicago is supersized, and it’s where the annual Chicago Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl is a big-ticket draw for those over 21. If you’re more into the delicioso flavors of Mexico, Chi-town has an abundance of Mexican eateries, and picnickers can opt for an open-air experience at the annual parade held on Sacramento Drive in Lawndale.
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Would you expect the City of Angels to throw anything less than a spectacular, blowout Cinco de Mayo celebration? Los Angeles’ multi-day May 5th gala, known as Fiesta Broadway, is one of the nation’s biggest celebrations. Traditional dancing and singing events take place throughout the city, but El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument is the place to celebrate in style. The monument is adorned to the hilt with Mexican flags and decorations, and traditional storytellers regale visitors with Mexican folk tales. The city’s extravagant offering is a terrific way for guests learn more about Mexican history and culture.