The first thing you should know before Cinco de Mayo is that man cannot live off tequila alone. It’s a versatile substance with a variety of benefits (including being a cold remedy, insomnia cure, and digestion aid), but it won’t sustain you forever.
That’s not to say that you can’t try, especially with plenty of opportunities to imbibe tequila available during this year’s edition of Cinco de Mayo.
Por que? Well, the annual drinking holiday (and excuse for alcoholic excess) just happens to fall at the start of the weekend, which means that many bars and clubs around town will have fiestas happening all three days. For proof, look no further than our annual Cinco party guide guide, which features events taking place on Friday, May 5, and throughout the weekend.
Cinco de Mayo Party at Cobra Arcade Bar
Food trucks will be stationed outside of Cobra on Cinco de Mayo, as will a wrestling ring featuring action from the masked grapplers of Lucha Libre Voz. Meanwhile, DJ Chris Villa will drop hip-hop and dance jams inside all evening long. 8 p.m., free. Call 602-595-5873.
Cinco de Mayo at Wasted Grain in Scottsdale
Whet your whistle, wey, with $3 Dos Equis pints, $6 shots of Patron, $7 margaritas, and other adult beverages during the Wasted Grain’s Cinco de Mayo fiesta on Friday, May 5. Said libations will help get you in the mood to dance to the tracks being laid down by DJ Ken Mooso starting at 10 p.m. up in the 100 Proof Lounge. Doors open at 3 p.m. Call 480-970-0500 for cover info.
Cinco de Mayo Block Party at C.A.S.A. Tempe
The festivities at C.A.S.A. will be both wild and widespread during its Cinco De Mayo block party, which will encompass the indoor lounge, the outdoor patio bar, and a good portion of Sixth Street east of Mill Avenue. Expect tacos and tequila during the affair, not to mention DJs dropping beats while cocktails are being served in C.A.S.A.’s signature 32-ounce mini-buckets. The party starts at noon and goes until 2 a.m. Admission is free. Call 480-557-8226 for more info.
Cinco de Mayo Block Party at El Hefe Scottsdale
The first 100 patrons through the door at Scottsdale location of El Hefe can get a Cazadores margarita for only a penny, which is a good reason to show up early to the spot’s Cinco De Mayo Party on Friday, May 5. Here are a few more: They’ll also have $3 Dos Equis before 5 p.m., $200 bottles of Patron before 9 p.m., and plenty of revelry taking place starting in the daytime. Local mixmasters DJ Convince, DJ Squared, and DJ Thomas James will brings the beats, and the bar will also serve $7 Cazadores drinks and shots and $9 Patron drinks and shots throughout the day and into the night. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-945-6200 for cover info.
Cinco de Mayo at Aunt Chilada's
Arguably one of the most raucous Cinco celebrations in the Valley unfolds every year at the Aunt Chilada’s in Phoenix. This year’s event – which features live music from the Chris Parker Project and Rhythm of the Sun, cornhole battles, margarita snowcones, samples of Casa Amigos and Herradura tequila, and other amenities – should be no exception. The party kicks off at 3 p.m. Admission is $10. Call 602-944-1286 for more info.
Las Chollas Peligrosas at Crescent Ballroom
Latin folk fusion quintet Las Chollas Peligrosas will light up the Crescent Ballroom’s lounge on Friday, May 5, with their sumptuous folkloric tunes, which mix “Old World stylings and New World ideas.” The show starts at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Call 602-716-2222 for more info.
Cinco de Mayo at The Rebel Lounge
Cockswain, Carol Pacey and the Honeyshakers, and The Blood Feud Family Singers will spend Cinco performing for their fans at The Rebel Lounge. The 21-and-over show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $5.
Cinco Alleyway Party at Rockbar Inc. in Scottsdale
Sport the snazziest or best-looking sombrero during the Cinco Alleyway Party at Rockbar on Friday, May 5, and you could nab a VIP trip for two to Roger Clyne’s annual Circus Mexicus celebration down in Rocky Point. Local bands Black Bottom Lighters, Barefoot, and Pride Through Strife will perform throughout the evening. The party starts at 7 p.m. with a $10 cover. Call 480-331-9190 for more info.
Cinco de Mayo Show at Pho Cao in Scottsdale
Indie acts The Psychedelephants, Goetta, the Sara Robinson Band, and The Woodworks will take the stage at this local band haven during its “fantabulous” Cinco de Mayo party. Drink specials will also be offered, which we’re guessing will probably be just as “fantabulous.” The show begins at 9 p.m. with a $5 cover. Call 480-947-2608 for more info.
Gringo de Mayo at Gringo-Star Street Bar in Tempe
Patrons can partake in $1.50 street tacos and $4 margaritas until 9 p.m. DJ AJ Slim will be on the decks all night. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is free. Call 480-306-8633.
Cinco de Mayo Block Party at El Hefe & Whiskey Row
A trip for two to Cancun will be given away to one lucky patron of the Cinco de Mayo Block Party that will take over both Tempe spots. The soundtrack will be served up by DJ Diesel, DJ Squared, DJ Convince, DJ MTTN, and DJ Soloman. Drink deals include $3 Dos Equis until 5 p.m., $200 Don Julio bottles until 9 p.m., and $6 El Jimidor drinks and shots all night. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-257-2797.
First Anniversary Party at Social Tap in Scottsdale
Social Tap will commemorate its first anniversary and Cinco de Mayo with $2.50 mix-and-match taco specials, $4 Dos Equis pints, $6 frozen margaritas, and more. Blues-rock guitarist Carvin Jones will perform from 5 to 8 p.m. and there will be cornhole and giant Jenga on the patio. Hours are from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 602-432-6719.
Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival in Downtown Phoenix
Legendary funk band War, R&B act Tierra, and soulful singer Brenton Wood will headline this annual block party in downtown Phoenix on Sunday, May 7, which will also include live entertainment from local bands, mariachi groups, traditional musicians, and folklorico dancers. Food and drink vendors, arts and crafts demonstrations, lucha libre wrestling, and a variety of games and attractions are also planned. The festival runs from noon until 10 p.m. General admission is $5 and VIP seating for the concerts is $40. Kids 5 and under get in free. Call 602-279-4669 for more info.
Cinco de Mayo Pool Party at The Graduate
The arty and stylish Graduate hotel in Tempe will host a Cinco de Mayo pool party with tequila tastings, $3 margaritas, piñata prizes, a pool floatie raffle, and a build-your-own taco bar for $15 per person from 4 to 6 p.m. Remember to wait an hour before taking a dip, though, after noshing. The celebration runs from 2 to 10 p.m. and admission is free. Call 480-387-5910 for more info.
Despera-Dos at Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row in Scottsdale
Saddle up for this two-day party on Thursday, May 4, and Friday, May 5, that will offer live music from Georgia Chrome, country and rock tunes spun by DJ Real, and more. Drink deals include $3 Dos Equis before 5 p.m, and $200 Patron bottles until 9 p.m., as well as $7 Cazadores drinks and shots and $9 Patron drinks throughout both days. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-945-4200 for cover info.
Read on for more ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
Cinco de Skullbuster at Shady Park in Tempe
Punks will mix with piñatas during “Cinco de Skullbuster,” a rowdy rock ‘n’ roll fiesta on Friday, May 5, that will be headlined by infamous Valley band the Smoky Mountain Skullbusters (natch). Grave Danger and Skink will also perform and DJ KateScratchFever and DJ Dizzy Daly will spin Latin records before, during, and after each set. The show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $8. Call 480-474-4222 for more info.
Cinco at Salt Tacos y Tequila in Glendale
DJ Mattafact will be in the mix and deals on beers and booze will be in abundance at this Westgate area eatery on Cinco de Mayo. Bottle and drafts of Corona, Dos Equis, and Bud Light will be on special, as will shot and margaritas featuring Cazadores Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo tequilas. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and the dance music starts at 9 p.m. No cover. Call 623-772-7282 for all the deets.
Cinco de Mayo at Dos Gringos
Some of biggest Cinco celebrations in the Valley will be happening at the three Dos Gringos around town. Each will feature a variety of games, drinks, tacos, and fun, as well as their own distinctive vibe and entertainment lineup. The Mesa location, for instance, will have a performance by Mogollon Acoustic from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by DJ Jeff Jones. Meanwhile, the Dos in Tempe will have DJ Hazardous starting at 4 p.m. and DJ Eddie Lynn going on at 9 p.m. And over at the Chandler version of Dos, the AZ Beat Droppers will spin high-energy sounds starting at 4 p.m. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Cinco de Mayo at Marc's in Glendale
It's going to be wall-to-wall revelry from open to close at Marc's in Glendale on Cinco. The bartenders will be serving $3.25 tequila shots, $3.50 tequila sunrises and Coronas, and other specials all day long. Happy hours prices will also be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., vodka cocktails are $3.50 from 8 to 10 p.m., and DJ Nova will spin dance music at 9 p.m. while karaoke with DJ Peco kicks off in the lounge. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 623-842-1053 for more info.
Cinco de Drinko Party at BLK Live
Happy hour specials run from 3 to 7 p.m. with a reverse happy hour starting at 10 p.m. at BLK Live’s festivities. There will be music from Flight 407, Max V., and DJ Shell. Patrons can also enjoy $5 margaritas. 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are is $20 in advance, $25 at the door. VIP seating is also available. Call 480-494-5069.
Zedd at Maya Day & Nightclub
Electronic dance music superstar Zedd will headline the Cinco de Mayo weekend edition of Maya’s Soundwave Pool Party on Sunday, May 7. Gates open at noon; general admission is $50. Call 480-625-0528 for more info or to arrange VIP service.
Gringo de Mayo at Old Town Gringos in Scottsdale
There will be live music happening all day at this two-story Mexican eatery and bar, as well as all manner of Cinco shenanigans. Drink deals, too, like $4 Pacifico cans, $5 Modelo Especial drafts, $6 margaritas, and more. Local bands Elvis Before Noon, Vintage Wednesday, and Kung Fu Grip will perform and DJ Transl8r will be in the mix.
Cinco de Sandbar at Sandbar Mexican Grill
Both of the Valley's Sandbar Mexican Grills will offer live music, DJs, dancing, and drink specials at their respective "Cinco de Sandbar" parties. The Desert Ridge location will host R&B/soul singer Vaughn Willis and local band Ear Candy, while the Sandbar in Chandler will feature reggae-rock act The Hourglass Cats and the hair-rocker hijinks of Metalhead. Regular hours at both locations are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is free. Call 480-961-1700 or 480-585-5900.
Sunset Strip at Joe's Grotto
A rowdy rock 'n' roll fiesta will ensue when Sunset Strip brings its "ultimate '80s rock party" to Joe's Grotto. Hook'em horns are optional. 9 p.m. Call 602-992-1007 for cover.
Cinco de Mayo Weekend at Karamba Nightclub
The festivities will last all weekend long at this LGBTQ-friendly Latin dance destination, kicking off with the "Miss Cinco de Mayo" pageant on Wednesday, May 3. The party continues with the back-to-back Cinco de Mayo fiestas on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, with after hours dancing until 4 a.m. Barbara Seville will close things out with her annual salsa challenge on Sunday, May 7, that benefits the Phoenix Pride scholarship fund starting at 3 p.m. Cover charges vary. Call 602-254-0231 for additional information.
Cinco de Mayo Blues Party at Rhythm Room
The Mike Eldred Trio will dish out down-home sounds as the featured entertainment at Rhythm Room when it celebrates the holiday on Friday, May 5. The music starts at 8 p.m. and goes until last call. Cover is $8. Call 602-265-4842.
Cinco de Mayo Rock Fiesta at Tempe Tavern
The folks at Tempe Tavern are promising a mix of "cool people" and "awesome music" at their Cinco event. And if you happen to dig the tunes of Nomada, Angels and Aliens, Manic Monkeys, and La 4ta, then that's definitely an accurate statement. Things get going at 8 p.m. No cover.
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Cinco de Mayo Rock at Pranksters Too
Yes, there will be plenty of rock 'n' roll at this affair, as well as R&B, blues, and bluegrass to boot. Local bands The Steven Graves Band, Rusty’s Dream Trio, and The Smoovies will provide the music and all Mexican beers and tequila will be on special. Performances start at 6:30 p.m. and there's a $5 admission.
Cinco de Mayo Jazz Party at Los Compadres
Local jazz musicians will kick off their jam session at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5. Meanwhile, you can enjoy $6 margaritas, $2 street tacos, and other food and drink specials. Admission is free. Regular hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call 602-864-0043.
Cinco De Mayo at Blue Agave
Promo girls will make an appearance in the afternoon, DJ RMC and Joseph Mercado will serve up sounds starting at 9 p.m., and distactions like beer pong and Buzztime games will be available all night. 8 p.m. No cover. Call 480-419-6375.
Editor's note: This post has been updated since its original publication with additional event listings.