This weekend's Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival is set to celebrate Mexico's 1862 Battle of Puebla victory in a big way: by piling up the world's largest plate of nachos. Some 200,000 revelers are expected at the three-day fiesta, where the chips will be stacked so high that the Guinness Book gets a new entry.
"Nobody's ever tried to do the world's largest nachos," says event promoter Alberto Rodriguez, "so this'll be in the record books." Crunch time is 4 p.m. Saturday, May 3, when 300 pounds of chips will be towered and devoured. Also featuring folklorico dancers, family activities, and entertainment by Malo, Little Joe y La Familia, and Emilio Navaira, the fest takes over Patriots Park, First Avenue and Washington, at 5 p.m. Friday, May 2, and won't wind down 'til 10 p.m. Sunday, May 4. Admission is $5, children 12 and younger free. Call 602-279-4669.
With fewer chips -- but more dips -- Avondale's Cinco de Mayo "Dancin' in the Streets" Block Party rocks DeConcini Park, Fourth Street and Western in Old Town Avondale, from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, May 2. The free fiesta combines performances by Barrio Latino and Mariachi Corazon de Phoenix with a beer garden, kids' zone, crafts, and contests crowning the finest in jalapeño eating and salsa dancing. See www.avondale.org.
East Valley action includes Mesa's Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, which kicks off with a dance party at 5 p.m. Friday, May 2, at Pioneer Park, 526 East Main. Free festivities resume at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 3, with mariachi groups, Latin dance music and ballet folklorico performances on tap -- plus children's activities, carnival rides, cultural displays and a search for Mesa's best salsa. Call 480-644-EVENT.
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A dogged pursuit of speed marks Chandler's Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Saturday, May 3; the annual running of the Chihuahuas gets under way at 5:30 p.m., with the top dogs crowned king and queen at 6:30 p.m. From noon to 8 p.m., the free festival also brings children's dance groups, crafts and music to A.J. Chandler Park, 3 South Arizona Avenue. Call 480-782-2735.
At the Peoria Sports Complex, 16101 North 83rd Avenue, the Cinco de Mayo Concert and Festival gets swinging with a boxing tournament; competitors range from kids to Olympic hopefuls. A lengthy entertainment lineup takes the stage from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3, including Pescadores del Rio Conchos, Aroma, Adan Sanchez, Alegres de la Sierra, and Banda Machos. Admission is $5, children 6 and younger free. Call 602-308-7900.
Also at the Peoria Sports Complex, the Cinco de Mayo Sports Fiesta kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 3. For a $65 entry fee, teams can compete in Wiffle ball, over-the-line softball, flag football and grass volleyball. Call 623-773-7186.
Finally, Scottsdale celebrates Cinco from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3, as Paiute Park, 3210 North 66th Street, is overrun with mariachis, Scottsdale International Club dancers and food vendors. Call 490-312-2771.