Chip Chip Hooray

Sniff competition: It's dog-meet-dog at Chandler's fiesta.
courtesy of the City of Chandler

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

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.

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.

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