Cinco De Mayo – Where Do the Largest Cinco De Mayo Celebrations Take Place?
Cinco de Mayo, a celebration commemorating the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, is celebrated differently across Mexico and in parts of the United States. While the holiday is most commonly known for its tacos, enchiladas, and mezcal, it’s also a day for Mexican culture and heritage to shine through in many cities throughout the country.
The largest cinco de mayo celebrations occur in the city of Puebla, where the actual battle took place. This UNESCO World Heritage City, which has a strong culinary tradition, celebrates the day with a parade and reenactments of the war.
In Los Angeles, the city’s biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration is called “Festival de Fiesta Broadway.” The festival features Latin American musicians and food along several blocks of Broadway and the streets around City Hall.
San Antonio’s biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration takes place in Historic Market Square and Trader’s Village outside of the downtown area, and features carnival rides, concerts, traditional charreria (or Mexican rodeo) events, and food vendors. There’s even a night-time fiesta in La Villita, which is the oldest neighborhood in the city and a center for Mexican traditions.
Denver’s two-day Cinco de Mayo celebration is held every spring and draws 400,000 visitors to Civic Center Park. The festival offers a wide range of entertainment, including mariachi, cumbia, salsa, nortena, and Spanish rock music. The party has become a cultural institution in Denver, and local Mexican-flavored restaurants serve up their best food.
The two-day festival is also the perfect chance to enjoy Denver’s renowned green chili, with a cook-off competition among ten teams. The event is open to the public, and admission costs are free.
During the Cinco de Mayo celebrations, there’s often live music and dance performances in the Plaza, where Mexican artisans sell jewelry, sombreros, silver, and vanilla extract. There’s also a huge farmers’ market and plenty of opportunities to sample Mexican cuisine from street vendors.
While the majority of Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States are community-based, the holiday has recently shifted to become a bit more commercialized, with many alcohol companies taking advantage of its popularity and promoting their own versions of the festival. In Mexico, where the holiday originated, it’s still largely community-based and celebrated on a regional level rather than nationally, but people do tend to have a more festive feel.
It’s not a federal holiday in Mexico, but banks and businesses are usually open for business on this day. In addition, students in the state of Puebla get the day off from school.
The celebrations can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what to expect. It’s a good idea to ask a local before heading out, to make sure you have the right attire and don’t get lost in the crowd.
The city of San Francisco is a hive of activity for Cinco de Mayo, and its festivities include the Grand Parade and Festival in the Mission District, where the festival has grown into more than just a one-day event. The two-day festival is packed with Mexican and Latin American music, Lucha libre fighters, dancers, and much more. It’s also an opportunity to try some of the city’s favorite dishes, from guacamole to quesadillas to fresh tamales.