Smile Empty Soul performing at Joe's Grotto
Smile Empty Soul performing at Joe's Grotto

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

Arizona Soccer Complex


Cinco de Mayo guide

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.

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.

El Santo Cantina y Mas
7301 E. Butherus Dr., Scottsdale
The restaurateurs behind such Scottsdale spots as Stingray Sushi and Jimmy Woo's will hold the grand opening on Friday, May 4, of their new resort-like cantina, which will serve a variety of Baja-style Mexican eats and libations. Call 480-584-3801.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale
The resort's La Hacienda restaurant and tequila bar will present an outdoor Fiesta Marketplace offering street tacos, tortilla-making stations, salsa sampling, and more. Strolling mariachis, Latin musicians, and traditional dancing are also promised, as is the chance to get a picture with "Pepe the Beer Donkey" from 6 to 8 p.m. More than 240 vareties of tequila will also be served. 4 p.m. Call 480-585-4848.

Kitchen 56
3433 N. 56th St.
Tacos and other street vendor-style Mexican food selections will be whipped up for $5 each during the restaurant's Cinco patio party. Live music, $3 Mexican beers like Corona and Negro Modelo, and $5 margaritas are also planned. Opens at 11 a.m. Call 480-994-5656.

La Piñata
3330 N. 19th Ave.
Food and drink specials will be available on Cinco de Mayo. 5 to 8 p.m. Call 602-279-1763.

Las Glorias Grill
7835 N. 19th Ave.
Drink specials like 99-cent margaritas, $1.25 tacos, and more. A special appearance by the Milagro Girls and various tequila tastings take place on Cinco de Mayo. Thursday, May 3, to Saturday, May 5. Call 602-944-8457.

Los Dos Molinos
260 S. Alma School Rd., Mesa
Cinco de Mayo block party with live entertainment from Candela at 9 p.m., as well as food and drink specials through out the day and a Cruz Tequila tasting from 2 to 5 p.m. Call 480-969-7475.

1826 N. Scottsdale Rd., Tempe
Cinco party with a Mexican-style brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $7.95/$10.95 per person, a screening of the Cotto/Mayweather fight at 6 p.m., and more. Drink specials include $3 Modelo drafts, $4 Espolon shots, and $5 Espolon margaritas. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., $10 during the pay-per-view only. Call 480-946-6666.

Popo's Mexican Food
6542 W. Indian School Road
17037 N. 59th Ave., Glendale
Cruz Tequila will hold special tastings from 6 to 8 p.m. at both locations. Call 623-846-2636 and 602-354-7738.

Salty Señorita
3636 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
8011 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria
Super-size "Señoritaville" parties will be held at both Salty Señorita locations, each offering live music starting at 1 p.m., $3 select beers, $5 margaritas, and plenty of Mexican-style eats. Open until 2 a.m. Call 480-946-7258 or 623-979-4822 for cover.

Valle Luna Mexican Restaurant
1949 W. Ray Road, Chandler
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by the lake with music from Mike Mercier and others starting at 11 a.m. DJ Benny Hill performs from 8 p.m. to close. 11 a.m. to midnight. Call 480-786-3100.

Valle Luna Mexican Restaurant
16048 N. Cave Creek Road
Happy hour takes place from noon until 6 p.m. in the cantina, Pepe's street tacos and salsa bar are available outside starting at 4 p.m., and an 1800 promo takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Open until midnight. Call 602-867-9100.

Bars & Clubs

4282 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale
Cinco de Mayo Cancun Rendezvous affair, which will offer the 18-and-over crowd the chance to dance until the wee hours to the hot spins of DJ OD and DJ Lunix. 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Call 480-264-8300 for cover.

Barney's Boathouse
7341 E. 6th Ave., Scottsdale
Enjoy $5 16-ounce margaritas, $3 Coronas, $1 tacos, and DJ Pulse on the decks starting at 10 p.m. Open until 2 a.m. Call 480-949-6535.

The Big Bang
501 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Mustache Bash with free admission for those with cookie dusters (real or otherwise), and drink specials like $4 cerveza and margaritas. 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-557-5595.

The Big Fish Pub
1954 E. University Dr., Tempe
Punk bands Hear Kitty Kitty, Oh God No, and Mission G will perform. 7 p.m., $10. Call 480-449-3474.

501 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Cinco specials like $2 tacos and $3 Mexican beers will be available and DJ Hazardous will be in the mix. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-907-5271.

The Blooze Bar
12014 N. 32nd St.
Fifth of May party featuring music by tribute bands New Jersey (which celebrates the music of Bon Jovi) and Breakdown (which features the tunes of Tom Petty). 8 p.m., $5. Call 602-788-4574.

Cactus Moon Sports Grill
1017 N. Dobson Road, Mesa
Cinco de Drinko with $2 Coronas, $4 Patron, and spins from DJ Aaron Taylor. 9 p.m., $5. Call 480-833-2226.

Dos Gringos
1958 S. Greenfield Road, Mesa
The Cinco celebration will take place both inside the bar and out in the parking lot as DJs spin the hits, live bands perform, and games and prizes will be handed out. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-633-5525 for cover.

Dos Gringos
4209 Craftsman Ct., Scottsdale
Cinco de Mayo Block Party with live music from Tomorrow's Bad Seeds, Pacific Dub, Weird Is the New Cool, Veragroove, Herb N Life, The Wednesday Machine, and others. Drink specials, DJs, games, and Warped Tour ticket giveaways will also take place. 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., $10. Call 480-423-3800.

Fat Tuesday
680 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Cinco De Mayo Block Party featuring dancing, drink specials like $2 Coronas and $4 Margaritas until 6:30 p.m., cornhole tournaments, and multiple bars. DJ Aaron Taylor, DJ V-EZ, DJ Mic, and DJ Quinn will provide the soundtracks. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., $5. Call 480-967-3917.

The Firehouse
4312 N. Brown Ave., Scottsdale
The Firehouse will become Casa de en Fuego and offer $4 Cabo Wabo shots and $7 mega-margaritas. The Miguel Cotto/Floyd Mayweather fight will air on the TVs and Death To The Throne will man the DJ booth. 10 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Call 480-390-7989.

Half Moon Sports Grill
2121 E. Highland Ave.
Watch the Mayweather/Cotto battle while partaking in half-price boneless wings and drink specials. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 602-977-2700.

Hollywood Alley
2610 W. Baseline Road, Mesa
Dollar tacos, $3 Dos Equis drafts, $4 1800 Coconut will be served all day and night. The Insects, G-Owens, Diego de la Tierre, Transfer, The S.H.I.T., T.S.O.I., Bob Momestic, Social Studies, and DJ Crispedero present a hip-hop tribute to Alley owner Ross Wincek starting at 8 p.m. Open until 2 a.m. Call 480-820-7117.

Joe's Grotto
13825 N. 32nd St.
Smile Empty Soul headlines an evening of hard rock at the Grotto. The Veer Union, Contrary to Reason, Ionia, 24 Thorns, and Failing to Fly provide support. 6:30 p.m., $16. Call 602-992-1007.

Karamba Nightclub
1724 E. McDowell Road
Cinco de Mayo party featuring a performance by El Mariachi Mexico Nuevo on the patio all evening. 9 p.m., $10. Call 602-254-0231.

Marc's Sports Grill & Nightlife
4494 W. Peoria Ave., Glendale
Marc's kitchen will serve enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, burros, and nachos with specials on tequila, Dos Equis, and Corona all day. Karaoke in the lounge and dancing in the main bar takes place at 9 p.m. Open at 11 a.m., $5 after 9 p.m. Call 623-842-1053.

Margarita Rocks
410 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Cinco de Mayo Bash boasting a bikini contest with $2,000 in cash and prizes, a mini- chimichanga-eating competition, $3 Dos Equis, and $4 Cabo Wabo shots and margaritas. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-968-3103 for cover.

The Monarch Theatre
122 E. Washington St.
The weekly Latin Royal affair will serve as the after-party for Maná, featuring DJs spinning hip-hop, salsa, and reggaeton videos all night. 9 p.m. Call 602-692-9633 for cover.

Sandbar Mexican Cantina
21001 N. Tatum Blvd
9868 W. Northern Ave., Peoria
7200 W. Ray Rd., Chandler
Cinco de Sandbar fiestas are planned for all three locations and each will feature $5 frozen margaritas, $3 cervezas, live music, and screening of the Cotto/Mayweather fisticuffs. The Peoria Sandbar will also offer lime-bobbing and jalepeno-eating competitions and a bikini contest with $1,000 in cash and prizes. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-585-5900 or 623-877-6444.

School of Rock
411 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Jersey Shore lothario Ronnie Ortiz-Magro will host School of Rock's Cinco de Mayo affair and will also work the wheels of steel. Drink specials like $3 Coronas and Dos Equis, $5 Patron, and $6 Skyy cocktails also will be available. 9 p.m., $10-$15. Call 480-966-3573.

The Shout! House
6770 N. Sunrise Blvd.
The dueling pianists will perform all evening while a "crazy sombrero" contest will award a $100 gift card. The bar will serve $3 Coronas and Dos Equis, as well as $5 Cuervo Silver Margaritas. 6 p.m., $8. Call 623-772-1500.

Spanish Fly
4341 N. 75th St., Scottsdale
Two-for-one drinks and appetizers will be served until 8 p.m. and $5 tequilas will be available after midnight on Friday, May 4. Cinco celebrations will take place on Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6, when DJs spin and cabanas are available for rental. Noon to 2 a.m., daily. Call 480-949-8454.

Swizzle Inn
5835 N. 16th St.
Cinco Derby Day party featuring drink specials and a bonnet contest at 4:30 p.m. with a $40 bar tab for the winner. 2 to 7 p.m. Call 602-277-7775.

Urban Heat
1749 W. Main St., Mesa
Quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger with $3 Coronas and Dos Equis, $5 margaritas, and $1 street tacos. DJ Rabbit provides the hot spins. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., $5 after 11 p.m. Call 480-464-4721.

Vintage Lounge
414 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Beer and booze specials will be in abundance at the "Cinco de Drinko" affair, including $2 tequila shots and $3 domestics. Tacos and hot dogs can also be had for $1 each. DJs Mastamonk, NYC, and Odi will be in the mix all night. Open until 2 a.m. Call 480-329-4090.

Wild Knight
4405 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale
German trance twosome Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems, better known as Cosmic Gate, are scheduled to perform at the Scottsdale nightspot. 10 p.m., $15. Call 480-213-9500 or visit

4301 N. 7th Ave.
Free taco buffet, $1 Cuervo shots, $2 Tecate, $3 margaritas, $4 Coronas, and $5 Patron shots. DJ Tsunami spins dance hits from 9 p.m. until close. 5 p.m. Call 602-265-3233.


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