Six Cinco De Mayo Celebrations Worth Your Pesos

It's time to set the record straight, cabron: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day. (That happens in September.) Nor is it considered to be a national holiday for our neighbors to the south. 

While the Cinco largely includes plenty of culturally oriented celebrations and fiestas for Hispanics (both in Mexico and throughout Latin America), it's largely become more of an excuse for gringos to tie on some tequila and fire up our blenders for a trip to Margaritaville.  

It's more than just Patron and Jose Cuervo, however, as any number of Mexican beers and spirits will inevitably be sampled during the annual holiday, which takes place on Thursday.

Looking for the coolest or closest place to party? Peruse the following compilation of some the finest fiestas taking place around town. And don't to bring some bail money, wuey.

Aunt Chilada's
7330 North Dreamy Draw Drive

Pity poor old Charlie Sheen. Once the toast of the media, the subject of every conversation, and the fodder of a gazillion Internet memes, the Ma-Sheen is fading back into obscurity. But before he becomes just another footnote in pop culture history, the folks at Aunt Chilada's will offer a toast to the celebrity train wreck with their "Place to be Sheen" party. Tiger Blood Margaritas will be served, while a "Goddess" contest will be held for cash prizes, and a Sheen impersonator will be in the house. Gates open at 3 p.m. and admission is $10.

Cadillac Ranch
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe

Eating and drinking specials will abound at the annual Cinco De Rancho celebration, but it's not the only thing to do. Games and contests will take place throughout the day, mariachi bands will perform, and plenty of prizes will be raffled off. The party starts at 11 a.m. and there's no cover.

Calico Jack's Cantina
6770 North Sunrise Boulevard, Glendale

Cinco De Mayo is kind of a big deal at this Westgate nightclub, which is why they will be pulling out all the stops. It kicks off with burros and huevos being served from 10 a.m. until noon, as well as offering Mexican dancers, mariachi bands and musicians, the "Shake It Like Shakira" contest, and plenty of the requisite tequila specials and a trip for two to Mexico. And if your tongue can take it, try entering the "Big Burrito" tamale-eating contest. Wanna party with some midgets? The Three Little Amigos will also be on hand. 

Canteen Modern Tequila Bar
640 South Mill Avenue, Tempe

¿Habla Español? You probably still won't after attending the ginormous Cinco de Mayo Block Party being put on surrounding this Mill Avenue establishment, although there will be plenty of opportunities to learn a phrase or two. Like "No mas!" ("No more"), which you'll utter after having your share of roasted pig or perhaps a shot or three of tequila. What else is planned for the party? Plenty, including cornhole competitions, beach games, DJs, music, and such specials as $2 Coronas and $3 margaritas. Admission is free until 8 p.m.

The Lost Leaf
914 North 5th Street

Renowned local artist Lalo Cota created a killer flyer for the Cinco-themed "El Plato Caliente" celebration at the downtown Phoenix drinkery, which is one of the many reasons worth stopping by. Here's another: cut-rate specials on gourmet beers will be offered, new work from painters and photographers will hang from the walls, and DJ Smite will be dropping "cumbia-crunk" and other genres all night. The fiesta commences at 9 p.m. and there's no cover.

Three Valley locations

Can't afford a trip to Puerto Penasco (a.k.a. Rocky Point)? All three the Sandbar locations in the Valley area will be dumping two tons of sand in their parking lot for a day of beach games, live entertainment, drink specials, prizes and giveaways. Gates open at 10 p.m.

Looking for more libation-fueled fun during Cinco weekend? Peep and peruse our annual Cinco de Mayo party guide for more possibilities.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.