What better way to commemorate the victorious occasion by the Mexican Army in 1862, than to have your own Mexican Fiesta or attend one in your neighborhood?
Not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day which falls on September 16, Cinco de Mayo celebrates freedom and liberty. It's a reminder of when on May 5, a poorly equipped yet skilled horsemen of Mexico outfought the French and traitor Mexicans, who, without warning, attacked Mexico City—events that led to the end of their Civil War.
It’s no wonder it became a great cause for celebrating Mexican heritage and pride throughout America and many other countries.
Wherever there is a Mexican-American population you can be sure there’s going to be a great deal of partying on Cinco de Mayo. You’ll see, hear, and taste the Mexican culture in food, song, dance, and parades during the week leading up to the fifth of May.
Parties would not be complete without mariachi music—a Mexican band of musicians that at times, stroll as they play. There is typically Mexican folkdancing with dancers in traditional costumes. A great layout of traditional foods, such as, tacos, tamales, guacamole, tortilla chips and salsa are always present; and beverages like lime margaritas and micheladas, which is lime and salt added to beer.
Where to find the local Cinco de Mayo Fiestas
- will party “all day” from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Featuring a tequila raffle and serving up some special carnitas for the day along with the regular menu of delicious Mexican dishes. Call for specific scheduling to be sure you don’t miss anything. Located at 430 Moffett Blvd., Telephone: 650-968-0453. Click for Website.
- will have mariachi music from 6 to 10 p.m. Try your bull-riding skills on their friendly mechanical bull out in the front parking lot from around 5 p.m. You may need to take advantage of the drink specials for the day before jumping on the bull! Located at 89 W. El Camino Real. Call for details at 650-625-8374.
- will feature upbeat and mellow mariachi harp music by Sal from 6:30 to 9 p.m. while you enjoy the drink specials and their regular menu. If you enjoy the music come back on Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. Located at 459 Castro St., Telephone: 650-965-2944.
- will be serving special appetizers and offering drink specials from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Located at 1407 W El Camino Real. Telephone: 650-961-8858.
- 's "fiesta" includes dinner and DJ party! The special celebration dinner is from 7 to 10 p.m. DJ Ulises will be putting on the party music from 11 p.m. until late, going into the late night happy hour from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. A glimpse of the entrees includes Arroz Con Pollo, Guacamole Burger, and Loaded Chicken Quesadilla, all for $10 each. Located at 223 Castro St. Telephone: 650-964-9151.
- will have tequila, margarita and other drink specials and will open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Located at 1005 N. Shoreline Blvd. Telephone: 650-965-9354.
- will have tequila, margarita and other drink specials and will open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Located at 735 Villa St. Telephone: 650-967-3525.
Where to find Cinco de Mayo events in or near town:
- will have a Cinco de Mayo Festival on Friday, May 6 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. The school's Mexican Folkloric Dance class will perform. This free dance group, sponsored by the PTA, meets on Monday afternoons through May to learn and prepare to perform this lively Mexican dance. Located at 115 W. Dana St. Telephone: 650-526-3520.
- El Jardin Restaurant & Tequila Bar is Santana Row’s outdoor tequila bar and restaurant. On May 5 and 6, from 1 to 10 p.m. they will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a two-day Mexican fair featuring live music, food and drink specials, carnival games, piñatas and more. Food booths will offer traditional Mexican street food. Mariachi Aztlan and Son de Kali will provide live music. Located at 368 Santana Row, San Jose. Telephone: 408-246-1744. Free entrance.
Where to get traditional Mexican groceries locally for your fiesta:
- 889 Leong Dr.
- 2512 California St.
- 311 Moffett Blvd.
- 40 S. Rengstorff Ave.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!