This weekend marks Cinco de Mayo, the non-holiday oft confused for Mexican Independence Day (that’s September 16th) yet more synonymous with Mexican pride (even if you aren’t Mexican). Make a weekend of it with a quick trip to Cabo or one of these five lesser known Cinco-celebrating cities.
The biggest Cinco celebration happens 100 kilometers east of Mexico City in Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage Center at the foot of the Popocatepetl volcano. That’s because the city is where Mexican military defeated French forces on May 5, 1862. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the battle, so it’s an even bigger deal than usual. In the days preceding, an inaugural International Mole Festival offers all the mole poblano a palate can handle. The day of, there’s a large parade followed by an evening pyrotechnic show and free concert by Marc Anthony.
More info: puebla-mexico.com
Hotels in Puebla: La Purificadora
In Denver it’s the 25th anniversary of their Cinco de Mayo festival, a two-day event at Civic Center Park.
More info: cincodemayodenver.com
Hotels in Denver: Four Seasons Hotel Denver, Hotel Teatro
A family-friendly festival takes place in the Little Village neighborhood and there’s also a parade which starts on Wood Street and travels west. But another way to celebrate is hitting up one or a few of Time Out Chicago’s recommended restaurants and bars.
More info: chi.remezcla.com (festival) and chicagotraveler.com (parade)
Hotels in Chicago: W Chicago Center
San Francisco, California
Dolores Park in the Mission neighborhood hosts a festival featuring mariachis, dancers, salsa ensembles and other Latin American performers.
More info: sfcincodemayo.com
Hotels in San Francisco: InterContinental San Francisco
San Diego, California
The three-day Fiesta Cinco de Mayo here happens in Old Town with lots of live entertainment, vendors selling goods and even a Lowrider Lane of custom cars. If you’re looking for a place to sit down and savor quality tequila, San Diego CityBeat lists a few pouring the better stuff.
More info: oldtownsandiegoguide.com
Hotels in San Diego: W San Diego