Your Guide to Partying on Cinco de Mayo 2011

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.

Jason P. Woodbury

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

Special Events

Cinco de Mayo Salsa Festival

El Pedregal

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

Special Events

ASU Kerr Cultural Center

6110 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale

Pianist Beth Lederman performs Latin jazz. 7:30 p.m. $20-$25. Call 480-596-2660.

Bars/Clubs

Whiskey River

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.

American Junkie

4363 N. 75th St., Scottsdale

www.americanjunieaz.com

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

Enjoy live entertainment, dancing, and giveaways from the Corona, Sauza, and Budweiser girls. Call 480-948-9969.

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

www.bajajoescantina.com

Live mariachi from 3 to 6 p.m. $2 beer specials. Call 480-655-1828.

Bar 1

3702 N. 16th St.

www.bar1bar.com

Drink specials from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. No cover.

Blanco Taco

The Borgata

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.

Carefree Station

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.

Cadillac Ranch

2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy., Ste 2105, Tempe

www.cadillacranchgroup.com/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

www.calicojacksglendale.com

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

Chronic Tacos

15 E. 6th St., Tempe

Food and drink specials. 4 p.m. to close. Call 480-557-8226.

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