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

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

Drink specials 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.

Bar 1

3702 N. 16th St.

www.bar1bar.com

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

Blanco Taco (at 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

Fresh fruit margaritas — featuring Peligroso tequila — tacos, and tostadas. 4 p.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.

Cien Agaves Tacos and Tequila

7228 E. 1st Ave., Scottsdale

$5 Peligroso Silver shot special all day. Call 480-557-8826.

The Comedy Spot

7117 E. 3rd Ave., Scottsdale

www.thecomedyspot.net

Cinco de Mayo Comedy Show with comics Guillermo Robles, Larry Hernandez, Joey Miranda, and more. 5 to 9 p.m., $10. Call 480-945-4422.

The Compound Grill

7000 E. Mayo Blvd.

www.thecompoundgrill .com

Celebrate Cinco with a performance by Grupo Libertade, which blends the Afro-Brazilian styles of samba, samba reggae, samba Afro, ijexa, coco, and maracatu into a perfectly danceable mix perfect for the holiday. 6 p.m., $12. Call 480-585-5483.

Desert Botanical Garden

1201 N. Galvin Pkwy.

www.dbg.org

Avant Garden will be outfitted for Cinco with a full-cash bar, food, tequila tasting and live music from Bata, and jazz from DJ Rani "G."

Dos Gringos

Four Valley locations

www.dosgringosaz.com

Dos Gringos will feature music, food specials, prizes and DJs at each of its locations.

El Hefe Supermacho Taqueria

& Majerle's Sports Grill Old Town

4425 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale

New clubs El Hefe and Majerle's Old Town team up to bring three nights of music, beer specials, and the Pacquiao/Mosley UFC fight on Saturday night. Thursday, May 5, features music from Kelley James, Kings of Recess, DJ Masta Monk, DJ Soulman, and DJ Circle. Friday, May 6, features DJ Steel, New FO's, DJ Soloman and headliners Unwritten Law. Saturday, May 7, features Kings of Recess, DJ Cutswell, DJ Diesel and an appearance by Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. $8-$13, call 480-945-56200.

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