Things to Do

Your Guide to Cinco de Mayo 2019 Parties in Metro Phoenix

Get ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the Valley.
Get ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the Valley. Benjamin Leatherman
Given the fact we’re smack-dab in the middle of the Southwest, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there isn't any shortage of places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the Valley.

There are raucous parties at local bars that qualify as major ragers, of course, as well as more traditional affairs focusing on Latinx culture, and affairs that fall somewhere in-between the two extremes.

But don’t take our word for it, cabron. You can always check out our annual Cinco de Mayo party guide, which includes all manner of fiestas and events — from authentic and traditional to lively and raucous — happening throughout the metro Phoenix area from Friday, May 3, until Sunday, May 5, at all manner of venues. As you’d expect, there will be plenty of fiestas featuring tacos and tequila, as well as more artsy affairs.

Have fun, but don’t get too boracho, since y’all probably have to report to work the day after Cinco. Oh, and also refrain from doing anything too embarrassing, since you likely wouldn't want your drunken exploits going viral and ruining your reputation.


Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl

Scottsdale Entertainment District

If you’d rather not celebrate Cinco alone, you can join the crowd during this lively bar crawl on Saturday, May 4, that will hit up several spots in downtown Scottsdale. Participants will gather at Old Town Gringos, 4209 North Craftsman Court, before heading for spots like El Hefe, Goodwood Tavern, Riot House, and Wasted Grain. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 online and include a wristband, three one-cent drink vouchers, and more.

Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival

200 West Washington Street

Grammy-nominated rock/funk act WAR and Latin R&B band Tierra will be the featured performers at the annual Cinco block party on Sunday, May 5, in downtown Phoenix. There will also be 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 activities are also planned. Noon to 10 p.m.; Tickets are $5 before 5 p.m., $10 thereafter, free for kids 12 and under. Call 602-279-4669 for more info.

Cinco de Squabi at Shady Park

26 East University Drive, Tempe

Three-member electronica ensemble SunSquabi will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a performance in Shady’s outdoor bar park on Sunday, May 5. Treezus and other DJs will open. The event gets going at 3 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 each. Call 480-474-4222.

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Lil Jon will headline the Cinco on Central block party on Sunday, May 5, at Cityscape.
Courtesy of HR Booking

Cinco on Central at CityScape

1 East Washington Street

Crunk king and party guru Lil Jon will perform a DJ set at this massive block party at CityScape in downtown Phoenix that will also include live art, food and drink vendors, DJs, enormous beer pong games, a hot chili pepper-eating contest, and more. The event runs from 4 p.m. to midnight. General admission is $25 and VIP tickets (which include five drinks, access to exclusive viewing areas, a nacho bar, and more) are $100.

Release Pool Party at Talking Stick Resort

9800 East Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale

The resort will launch its summer-long Release pool party series during Cinco de Mayo weekend. Panda Funk DJ and producer Deorro kicks things off on Saturday, May 4, followed by electro-house superstar Zedd on Sunday, May 5. Noon to 6 p.m. each day. Tickets are $30 on May 4, $40 on May 5, or $60 for the weekend. Call 480-850-7777.

Riot House

4425 North Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale

A weekend filled with DJs, dancing, and drink specials will be on tap at Riot House in honor of Cinco de Mayo. The festivities start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, and at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 5. Deals include $25 buckets of Dos Equis and Tecate bottles and $2 off Don Julio Blanco and Hornitos Plata. Call 480-935-5910 for info.

Thunderbird Lounge

710 West Montecito Avenue

The Cinco de Mayo party at this newly opened lounge in the Melrose district will offer a DJ set from Sean Watson, yard games, kiddie pools, and eats from local food trucks Dos Tierras and Dino's Napoletana. Hours are from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 602-283-4621 for more details.

The Saguaro

4000 North Drinkwater Boulevard

A pair of Cinco-themed pool parties will be how this Scottsdale boutique hotel will celebrate the occasion. The first takes place on Saturday, May 4, with DJ sessions by Sabio, Trill Tone, and Soloman. The "Cinco de Saguaro" affair on Sunday, May 5, will have Yvonne Black, DJ Hazardous, and Sabio in the mix. Both parties start at noon and are free if you RSVP online. Guaranteed admission is also available for $10-$25. Details can be found here and here. Call 480-308-1100.

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You never know who you'll see at Cobra Arcade Bar's block party on Saturday, May 4.
Benjamin Leatherman

Cobra Arcade Bar

801 North Second Street

Cobra’s Cinco de Mayo and Star Wars-themed block party on Saturday, May 4, will be action-packed, to say the least. The masked luchadores of Lucha Libre Voz will battle in a wrestling ring in the parking lot while classic arcade games will be available to play both inside and outside. There will also be an outdoor bar, food trucks, a Star Wars costume contest, drink specials, DJs, and more. Start time is 4 p.m. Admission is free. Call 602-595-5873 in you need to know more.

The Clarendon Hotel

401 West Clarendon Avenue

The Clarendon’s Cinco de Mayo pool party will include jams from DJ French Toast, specials on Don Julio and Herradura, piñatas, giveaways, pool toys, $2 tacos, and other appropriately themed revelry. The affair runs from noon until 5 p.m. General admission is $15, VIP admission is $25 (which offers access to an indoor cabana, A/C, a private server, complimentary snacks and water, and more). Outdoor cabanas can also be rented for $150 and include seating for six people, two pitchers of margaritas or six beers, complimentary water, and other amenities. Call 602-252-7363 for reservations and other info.

Casa Amigos

7320 East Indian Plaza, Scottsdale

You can expect DJs, dancing, and drinks of the margarita and cerveza variety at the celebration at Casa Amigos on Sunday, May 5, as well as tacos. Lots of tacos. They’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and you can call 480-361-3440 for more info.

Aunt Chilada’s

7330 North Dreamy Draw Drive

Aunt Chilada’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration will take place across an entire weekend this year. On Friday, May 3, you can partake in happy hour food and drink specials in the lounge and music from Chris Parker Project from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Come back the following day for the first-ever salsa challenge, as well as steel drum music from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free both days. The main event is on Sunday, May 5, and includes a cornhole tournament at 11 a.m. and live music starting at 1 p.m. from such bands and musicians as Esteban and The Walkens. Free before noon, $15 thereafter. Call 602-944-1286 for more information.

Paz Cantina

330 East Roosevelt Street

Pop by Paz for three days of fun during Cinco weekend. The First Fuego Friday happy hour from 4 to 9 p.m. gets things going, followed by the monthly First Friday sesh from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. with Louie Sanchez and the Band. There’s a Derby de Mayo shindig starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, with prizes, drink specials, and more, as well as a viewing party for the Canelo Alvarez/Daniel Jacobs fight at 7 p.m. Paz will also have a Cinco de Mayo brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, with music from Albuquerque reggae/rock/Latin group ¡Reviva! and various specials. The Phunny Money comedy night from 7 to 9 p.m. wraps things up. Call 602-281-2930.

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Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers are scheduled to perform on Sunday, May 5, at The Van Buren.
Ash Ponders

The Van Buren

401 West Van Buren Street

Local jangle-pop favorites Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers will put on a special Cinco de Mayo performance and celebration on The Van Buren’s outdoor patio on Sunday, May 5. Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts, The Cole Trains, and other bands will also perform and there will be both tacos and tequila (including Clyne’s signature Mexican Moonshine) available for purchase. 21-and-over only. Noon. Tickets are $32 for general admission, $62 for a VIP meet-and-greet package. Call 480-659-1641.

The Casual Pint

4626 North 16th Street

In case you weren’t already aware, young Padawan, May 4 is known as Star Wars Day (as in “May the Fourth be with you”) around the world. Hence this drinkery’s “May the 4th be Belching” party on Saturday which will feature a costume contest and beers inspired by the saga, the films playing throughout the day, and more. They’ll also celebrate Cinco; the piñata-bashing contest is at 9 p.m. Hours are from 11 a.m. to midnight. Call 623-398-3636.

Barrio Queen

7114 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale

Games, activities, and distractions will abound at the Scottsdale location of Barrio Queen on Sunday, May 5. A mix of face-painters, balloon artists, mariachis, stilt-walkers, DJs, and even dancing skeletons will all be present at the indoor/outdoor event. If you’re in a gaming mood, they’ll have cornhole, beer pong, and giant-ass versions of Jenga and Connect Four. And if you’re hungry, there will be such food options as chips and salsa, guacamole, ceviche, flan, tres leches cake, and (of course) tacos. Drink specials, beer buckets, and free swag is also promised. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 480-656-4197.

Last Exit Live

717 South Central Avenue

Hawaiian-born singer/songwriter Anuhea will headline the Cinco de Mayo Pa’ina affair at Last Exit Live on Sunday, May 5. Swells and Haley Green will also perform. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Call 602-271-7000.

Helio Basin Brewing Co.

3935 East Thomas Road

Latin reggae rock act Fayuca will put on its annual Cinco weekend party at Helio with support from local bands Vana Liya, Audic Empire, and Black Bottom Lighters. They’ll also have plenty of their signature beer for sale. 5 to 11 p.m. General admission is $15, admission plus access to the beer garden is $25, and the “VIP Experience” (which features a special acoustic set by Fayuca inside the brewhouse and drinks with the band during a “social hour”) are $40.

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Chromeo will perform a DJ set at Maya's sixth anniversary party. on Cinco.
Tim Saccenti

Maya Day & Nightclub

7333 East Indian Plaza, Scottsdale

They’ll be celebrating both Cinco de Mayo and Maya’s sixth anniversary on Sunday, May 5, during the Sweet 6 pool party. Popular electro-funk duo Chromeo will perform a special DJ set and there will be plenty of rowdy fun both in and out of the pool. Gates open at noon. Tickets are $10. Call 480-625-0528 for more info or VIP.

Fat Tuesday

6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale
680 S. Mill Ave., Tempe

Both Fat Tuesday locations will host Cinco de Drinko parties with live entertainment and $5 tequila, margarita, and beer specials all day. You can also get three tacos for $5. Live music at the Tempe location starts at 2 p.m. and a donkey may or may not be there. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. at both spots and there won’t be a cover. Call 623-230-2509 or 480-967-3917 for more details.

Dos Gringos

1958 South Greenfield Road, Mesa

The Cinco revelry at this Dos Gringos takes place on Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, and will feature food and drink, live bands, DJs, games, and more. The music lineup will include sets by Levi Waskom, Jared Gabriel, Rose Colored Eyes, and Sara Robinson on May 4; and Lamp Shade Duo, Neon Churches, and others on May 5. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 480-622-5525 for details and admission info.

Cien Agaves

7228 East First Avenue, Scottsdale

They’ll be celebrating Cinco all weekend long at this Scottsdale spot and will have mariachis, food and drink specials, cerveza and tequila samplings, and more. Opens at 11 a.m. each day. Call 480-970- 9002 for more

Salt Tacos y Tequila

6751 North Sunset Boulevard, Glendale

Salt’s planning three days of revelry in honor of Cinco de Mayo, kicking off on Friday, May 3, with a $10 fajita special all day long and hot spins from DJ Ruckus starting at 9 p.m. Come back on Saturday, May 4, for the Kentucky Derby Party from noon to 4 p.m. that will have $4 Dos Equis and $7 Mint Juleps, followed by the Cinco Eve party with DJ Chris Villa in the mix starting at 10 p.m. The festivities on Sunday, May 5, will feature brunch service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., margarita and cerveza specials, a “Kariachi” (a.k.a. mariachi karaoke) from 3 to 7 p.m., giant beer bowling, and more. Opens at 11 a.m. each day. Call 623-772-7282 for info.

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Some of the staff at El Hefe in Tempe.
Benjamin Leatherman

El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

640 South Mill Avenue, Tempe

These neighboring Mill Avenue bars will have Cinco de Mayo fiestas happening on Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, that will feature DJs and drink specials like $2 off Patron Silver and Jose Cuervo and $25 buckets of Dos Equis and Tecate bottles. Doors open at 10 a.m. each day. Call 480-794-1477 or 480-257-2797 for admission info.

Crescent Ballroom

308 North Second Avenue

The artists, musicians, and dancers of Flamenco Por La Vida will work their magic on Saturday, May 4, inside the Crescent Ballroom’s cocktail lounge. The performance goes from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free. Call 602-716-2222 for more info.

Lustre Rooftop Bar

2 East Jefferson Street

Party poolside at this rooftop bar at the Hotel Palomar while partaking in some Cinco de Mayo day-drinking and fun in the sun. Buckets of Corona and Modelo bottles will be available for purchase and they’ll have live music from 1 to 4 p.m. A $65 party package includes four shots of Blanco tequila, four Modelos, and nachos. Lustre opens at 11 a.m. Call 602-258-0231 for additional details.

The Rhythm Room

1019 East Indian School Road

Rhythm Room will host a Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring music from local Americana/blues bands Mario Moreno and the Black & Tans and the Al Foul Trio. The show starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $5. Call 602-265-4842 for more.

Sandbar Mexican Grill

21001 North Tatum Boulevard
7200 West Ray Road, Chandler
1975 East Williams Field Road, Gilbert

All three Sandbars will offer weekend-long fetes with extended premises, live music, DJs, and dancing, as well as their usual mix of tacos, margaritas, and cervezas. The Desert Ridge locations will feature The Hourglass Cats on Saturday and Crown Kings on Sunday while Elvis Before Noon will perform at the Sandbar in Chandler on Sunday. See Sandbar’s website for more info.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.