Your Valley guide to Cinco de Mayo

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.

Special Events

Smile Empty Soul performing at Joe's Grotto
Smile Empty Soul performing at Joe's Grotto
Metalhead will be performing at Tempe Marketplace
Metalhead will be performing at Tempe Marketplace

Arizona Soccer Complex
2209 N. 99th Ave.
There will be activity all day long at the adrenaline-filled Blues, Bruise, and BBQs Cinco de Mayo Festival at this West Valley location. The Kiwi Dash adventure race starts at 9:30 a.m. and will involve participants mucking through a 5K obstacle course. The Slap the Gator Musicfest kicks off at 10 a.m. and features seven blues bands, and action-packed Muay Thai mixed martial arts matches will transpire. Barbecue food will also be cooked up by local vendors, and both a body-painting competition and custom motorcycle show will take place. Runs until 11 p.m. Admission varies. Visit for more info.

Chandler Public Library
22 S. Delaware St., Chandler
Chihuahuas both cute and quick will be feted at Chandler's Cinco de Mayo Festival. Local pint-size pooches can participate in both the yearly Chihuahua races and beauty pageant, which are the centerpiece of the city's annual daylong Cinco celebration. The races will take place promptly at 2 p.m. (with a $10 entry fee). The contest follows at 3:30 p.m. (with a $25 fee) and will not only crown the king, queen, and centennial Chihuahua, but also provide trophies and other honors and prizes for such categories as best-dressed and most fashionable. Meanwhile, the festival will feature Latin bands, traditional dancing, food and drink vendors, a health fair, a lowrider show, and more. 10 a.m., free. Call 480-855-3539.

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.

Crescent Ballroom
308 N. 4th Ave.
Fayuca joins forces with Cesar Chavez Duran, Mariachi Fuego del Sol, and Kommon Measure for a special Cinco de Mayo showcase. 8 p.m., $5.

El Pedregal
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.

Tempe Marketplace
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe
Cinco de Tempe Block Party, with margaritas aplenty, a swimwear fashion show, boots-and-bikini contest, mariachi bands, and a raffle for a five-night stay 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.

Turf Paradise
1501 W. Bell Road
"Cinco de Derby," with 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.

US Airways Center
201 E. Jefferson St.
Renowned rock en español foursome Maná will pack the Phoenix arena during a special Cinco weekend concert. Friday, May 4; 8 p.m., $46-$126. Call 602-379-2000 or see


Aunt Chilada's
7330 N. Dreamy Draw Dr.
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
Daily Cinco celebrations will lead up to the big day on Saturday, 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.

Blanco Tacos + Tequila
6166 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Cinco festivities will include $8 classic margaritas, $11 top-shelf margaritas, canned beers like Modelo Especial for $3-$6 (depending on size), and DJs throughout the day. 10 a.m. Call 480-289-5701.

Blue Agave
7000 E. Mayo Blvd.
Special Cinco-inspired menu items, promos and giveaways, and $3 Dos Equis drafts. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-419-6375.

Cien Agaves Tacos & Tequila
7228 E. 1st Ave., Scottsdale
Partake in $1.50 tinga tacos, $3.50 Cien Agaves margaritas, and other food and drink specials from 3 to 7 p.m. Call 480-970-9002.

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Looks like Philadelphia Sandwich Company is the place to go...4225 N Craftsmans to Dos....24/7 fun fun coffee great food.....