The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

71° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with local fiestas

    Cinco de Mayo — the fifth of May — marks Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Often confused for Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually Sept. 16, Cinco de Mayo incidentally plays a rather minute role in Mexico’s Reform War. Though it’s still celebrated in Mexico, particularly in the state of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo is a much larger sensation stateside. 

    Thanks to not-so-subtle American marketing, many of us now consider this holiday Mexico’s day of fajitas, margaritas, guacamole and beer. Naturally, it’s anything but that.

    It remains something of an anomaly why the U.S. harbors such an interest in this holiday. Nevertheless, Cinco de Mayo acts as a gateway holiday to more genuine Mexican cultural immersion in the future. 

    It is also an opportunity, especially in Tucson, to experience a taste of Mexican culture and cuisine. And who doesn’t love good food and company? As this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations gear up, consider that this is a holiday entailing a great deal more than drinking. Listed below are local Tucson festivities that include the best of both worlds: Mexican cultural heritage and American party culture.

    Cinco De Mayo Celebration

    From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., there will be an afternoon of piñatas, music, fry bread, flower making and dancing, as well as a food truck rally outside of the Joel Valdez Main Library on Stone Avenue. All proceeds will be donated to local charities geared toward animal rescue. For more information, call 594-5500.

    Ballet Folklorico La Paloma 

    Starting at 7 p.m. at the Fiesta Mexicana, the Ballet Folklorico La Paloma will put on a traditional show to demonstrate native folk dances of Mexico at the Community Performing Arts Center in Green Valley. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for kids of ages 5 to 12. For more information, call 704-2896.

    Concierto de 5 de Mayo

    Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at a concert held at Club XS on Speedway Boulevard. With music from four Latin American rock bands, including Arizona artists Oscar Fuentes, Diluvio AZ, Mono and Viri y Los Bandidos. Doors open at 7 p.m. and will include a $5 cover charge. Events commence at 9 p.m. This is a 21+ event that will offer numerous drink specials all evening long. For more information, call 247-3588.

    Cinco de Mayo

    A free fiesta at the Hotel Congress plaza will showcase Latin and world music, featuring some of Tucson’s local favorites, including The Jons and DJ Dirtyverbs. This is a 21+ event, starting at 8 p.m. For more information, call 622-8848.

    Psych-O de Mayo 

    Starting at 9 p.m., Cinco de Mayo is getting psyched out at The Flycatcher, featuring music by Mystic Braves, The Blank Tapes, JJUUJJUU and LA Witch. This is a 21+ event, hosted by the Rialto Theatre. For more information, call 740-1000.


    Follow Elise McClain on Twitter.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search