Cinco de Mayo is a time to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture – with a few margaritas, of course. An important date in Mexican history, it doesn’t commemorate Mexico’s Independence Day, as many would assume. That day is September 16. Instead, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the anniversary of the Mexican Army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War. Today, the anniversary is observed with pride and honor, accompanied by a multitude of festivities steeped in tradition. Indulge in the colors, sounds and tastes of Mexico by attending one of these Cinco de Mayo celebrations in California.
San Francisco: Cinco de Mayo Festival
Bay Area residents can attend San Francisco’s largest celebration of Mexican-American culture at the 8th annual Cinco de Mayo Festival at Dolores Park. The festivities begin with a Latin inspired, energy-exploding Zumba-thon fitness party, guaranteed to get your ticker ticking. The celebration continues with live entertainment, featuring everything from salsa music and Mariachis to traditional Mexican folk dance presentations. A diverse selection of food will be available and visitors can browse the many fine arts and crafts booths. This event is alcohol-free and family friendly.
Location: Corner of Dolores St. and 18th St. in Dolores Park
Dates/Times: Saturday, May 5 10am – 6pm
San Diego: Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo
The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration north of the border takes place in San Diego. The 29th Annual Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo is a three-day celebration featuring something for everyone. The festivities start on Friday, May 4 with a motocross exhibition presented by Red Bull. The fun continues over the weekend with equestrian shows, Lucha Libre matches, Ballet Folklorico competitions and more. Three stages with live entertainment feature music ranging from Mariachi to Latin rock and roll. Explore the Mercado where you can purchase handmade goods and then satisfy your appetite at any of the 20 restaurants offering food specials. Relax at the beer garden or treat the kids to carnival rides in the Children’s Area. You’ll want to attend all three days to be able to enjoy everything!
Location: San Diego Avenue in Historic Old Town
Dates/Times: Friday, May 4th 5pm - 10pm; Saturday, May 5th 11am – 10pm;
Sunday, May 6th 11am – 5pm