By Kathleen Vanesian
By Amy Silverman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Jim Louvau
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Benjamin Leatherman
By New Times
By Becky Bartkowski
When it comes to Cinco de Mayo celebrations, Phoenix knows what it's doing. The holiday has particular resonance in the United States, where General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín and his army's unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 is heralded as an important moment in the American Civil War (celebrating its 150th anniversary this year). In the Battle of Puebla, the French were prevented from setting up shop in Mexico with the intent to disrupt the Union.
Phoenix's close proximity to the border assures that the town will be a flurry with Latin-themed shindigs from April 30 to May 7. But who's looking for a history lesson? We've got the scoop on the real dirt, all the hottest pachangas and fiestas going down. Mariachi music will ring out, and the tequila and cerveza will flow freely all across the Valley. Multicultural events will unite DJs, live bands, and even Spider-Man in celebration of all things Latino.
Get ready to live la vida loca, Phoenix.
Saturday, April 30
12 News La Voz
Cinco de Mayo Festival
Second and Van Buren streets
Two day multi-culture family festival will host a variety of activities, including live entertainment from The Ohio Players, Little Joe, and others, arts and crafts, scholarships awarded, and a jalapeño-eating contest. 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. $5 dollars for adults, 12 and under free.
Sunday, May 1
Cinco de Mayo Salsa Festival
34505 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Dozens of Arizona salsas will be available for tasting, and The Freddie Duran Plan will be on hand to soundtrack your noshing and tequila tasting. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Food and beverage prices vary.
Enchanted Island at Encanto Park
1202 W. Encanto Blvd.
Spider-Man will be on hand to sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (fees apply), Ballet Folkloria will perform, and candy-filled piñatas will be part of the festivities. Call 602-254-1200.
Wednesday, May 4
6110 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Pianist Beth Lederman performs Latin jazz. 7:30 p.m. $20-$25. Call 480-596-2660.
3202 E. Greenway Rd.
"Quatro De Mayo" with 50-cent shots and $1.50 Milagro tequila from 6 to 11 p.m., "Shake Your Booty Shorts" competition, no cover for ladies and midnight tequila toast to ring in Cinco de Mayo. Call 602-867-2802.
Thursday, May 5
Ajo Al's Mexican Café
6990 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
50-cent Cadillac margarita specials and 50-cent mini chimis. Call 480-998-1734.
4363 N. 75th St., Scottsdale
The Junkie Cinco Weekend Block Party (presented in conjunction with Spanish Fly) features Shwayze, Veragroove, The New F.O.s, and Chris Young on Saturday, April 30, and a dodgeball tourney on Sunday, when the winning team can earn $1000. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-990-3000.
Arriba Mexican Grill
Five Valley Locations
Aunt Chilada's at Squaw Peak
7330 N. Dreamy Draw Dr.
The Place to Be Sheen Event, featuring "Goddess Contests" and a Battle of the Bands, Zimis and the Chris Parker Project. 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. $10. Call 602-944-1286.
Baja Beach Bar
10050 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Baja de Mayo with drink specials, beer pong, and more. Call 480-998-8845.
Baja Joe's Mexican Cantina
1927 N. Gilbert Rd., Mesa
Live mariachi from 3 to 6 p.m. $2 beer specials. Call 480-655-1828.
3702 N. 16th St.
Drink specials from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. No cover.
6166 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
All-day happy hour, with select drinks and half-off food. Traditional mariachi music starting at 5 p.m., then hot beats from DJ E-House from 6 to 10 p.m.
Blue Agave Mexican Cantina
7000 E. Mayo Blvd.
Stop by for a set by mariachi band Peligroso, tequila, food, and drink specials, and a chance to win a seven-day vacation (lodging only). 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-419-6375.
Bonfire Grill and Bar
7210 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale
Peligroso tequila, tacos, and tostadas. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-945-6600.
7212 Ho Hum Rd., Carefree
Celebrate with a Mexican dinner buffet, and over 50 varieties of tequila, and a signature Apple Pie margarita. Call 480-488-8182 for reservations.
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy., Ste 2105, Tempe
A variety of $2 to $5 food specials, $2 Dos XX Beers, and $3 Cuervo Margaritas, $4 Milagro tequila shots and poppers, live music and DJ from 9 p.m. to close. Call 623-939-2480.
Calico Jack's Cantina
6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., Glendale
Enjoy burros and huevos from 10 a.m. to noon, live music, DJs, Mexican dancers, mariachi music, the "Shake It Like Shakira" contest, dunk tank, enter to win a trip to Mexico, and say hi to the "Three Little Amigos." For VIP access, call 623-877-5225.
Canteen Tequila Bar/Fat Tuesday
640 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Check out the Mexilenta! Cornhole Tournament and live sets from DJ V-EZ, DJ Johnny Knuckles, and DJ Diesel. $5, 8 pm. to 2 p.m. Call 480-967-3917
15 E. 6th St., Tempe
Food and drink specials. 4 p.m. to close. Call 480-557-8226.