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
Bar owners have been busy lately ordering plenty of cerveza, testing out their blenders, and adorning the walls of their joints with colorful decorations. Such preparations are necessary, considering that Cinco de Mayo (a.k.a. one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year) is just around the corner. Countless fiestas will be taking place in the Valley, both on Saturday, May 5, and throughout Cinco weekend, and we've got the lowdown on some of the pimpest parties.
Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival
More than 150,000 people are expected to be in attendance at this annual two-day Cinco block party taking place in the streets of downtown Phoenix. Live entertainment includes folkloric dancing, traditional music, and boxing matches. Food and drink vendors, arts and crafts demonstrations, and a variety of games will also take place. Latin Breed and David Lee Garza y Los Musicales are scheduled to take the main stage on Saturday, and funk superstars War will perform on Sunday. Hours are 2 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, May 5; and noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday, May 6. Admission is free $5 for adults, and free for kids 12 and younger.
34505 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Potent and piquant salsas created by a number of Arizona chefs and restaurants (including the Spotted Donkey Cantina and Brugos Pizza Company) will be served up the annual Cinco de Mayo Salsa Festival. Patrons can also partake in a variety of tequila, margaritas, wines, and other adult beverages to help cool the fire that's sure to dance across their tongues. Other Mexican culinary delights will be available and the Freddie Duran Plan will perform. 1 to 4 p.m., free. Call 480-488-1072.
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe
The outdoor mall will host the massive Cinco de Tempe block party, which will feature margaritas aplenty, as well as a swimwear fashion show, a boots-and-bikini contest, mariachi bands, and a raffle for a five-night stay at the Plaza Pelicanos in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The live-music lineup includes A Boy Named Sioux, Metal Head, Club Country, and DJ Johnny Knuckles. 4 p.m., $10. Call 480-894-1111.
1501 W. Bell Road
The pageantry of the Kentucky Derby will mix with the fun of Cinco de May at Turf Paradise during "Cinco de Derby." Besides live and televised horse racing, the event will feature live music, food and drink specials, and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $5. Call 602-942-1101.
7330 N. Dreamy Draw Dr.
This historic North Phoenix favorite is staging its notorious all-day Cinco de Mayo soiree once again (this year's theme: "We ain't Mayan, so we ain't dyin this Cinco!"), which will feature a variety of Mexican food, margaritas made with Grand Centenario and 1800, and such ice-cold cervezas as Pacifico and Corona. A chihuahua talent show starts at 3 p.m., and local bands Rhythm of the Sun and The Chadwicks perform from 4 p.m. until close. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., $12. Call 602-944-1286.
Baja Joe's Mexican Cantina
1927 N. Gilbert Road, Mesa
Starting on Tuesday, May 1, Cinco celebrations will take place for five days straight at this Mexican eatery. They will lead up to the big day on Saturday, May 5, when prizes and giveaways will be doled out, drink specials will be offered, the Corona Girls will appear, and DJs will perform. Open at 9 a.m. daily. Call 480-655-1828.
Crave Cafe & Lounge
505 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Crave-o De Mayo fiesta will be held Thursday, May 3, through Saturday, May 5, with $2 Mexican beers, burritos "the size of your head," $3 tequila shots, and DJs each day. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-784-6700.
4000 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale
Luchadores will battle in a wrestling ring located inside this Saguaro Hotel eatery from 2 to 6 p.m. during the Cinco de Milagro event. Meanwhile, $5 margaritas and $2 Tecate will be on tap all day, a special $35 chef's tasting menu with $15 tequila pairing will be served, and both DJs and bands will perform. Open at 11 a.m. Call 480-970-4444.
Dos Juevos Cantina
7633 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale
Food and drink specials like $2 Corona and house margaritas will be available, prizes will be handed out every hour, and local bands will perform. 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-947-2000.