On May 5, 1862, the Mexican Army defeated the French at the Battle of the Puebla, despite being significantly outnumbered. May 5th is not Mexico’s independence day, as some falsely think; that honor belongs to September 16th. It is, however, often a holiday that celebrates Mexican-American culture in the United States, resulting in numerous parties and educational opportunities throughout the country. Here are 10 ways to celebrate in Los Angeles.
LA Taco & Beer Festival offers three hours of unlimited tacos and craft beers—included in the ticket price—plus DJs and games. Food and beverages that are not tacos, as well as hand-rolled cigars, will be available for purchase separately. Tickets are $50 for general admission, $70 for VIP, and $25 for those who don’t plan to drink, but who do want unlimited tacos. A VIP ticket allows guests to enter the fest an hour early, and also provides access to tequila and mezcal tastings. This event is 21+.
Thursday, May 4, 2017, at 7 p.m. and Friday, May 5, 2017, at 11 p.m.
Lucha VaVOOM is one of Los Angeles’s greatest shows, combining luche libre with burlesque in a wild spectacular unlike any other in town. This year’s Cinco de Mayo shows takes place over the course of two nights at the Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Expect dancers, burlesque, comedy, aerialists, roller girls, margaritas, and, of course, luchadores. Tickets are $48.50.
This pub crawl begins at Outpost Hollywood, where guests may check in at any time between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Crawlers will then receive a map detailing the various nearby bars that will be offering drink specials and at what hours they’ll be available. Specials include $2 beers, 2-for-1 margaritas, and $5 shots of tequila.
Any trip to this scenic garden in La Cañada Flintridge is a fantastic time, but on Cinco de Mayo, it will be extra festive. A buffet of Mexican fare will include delicious offerings such as beans, Spanish rice, cheese enchiladas, tacos, chicken tamales, chips with guacamole and salsas, churros and caramel flan. There will also be performances by Mariachi San Antonio de Raul Macedo and a floreo charro dancer. Tickets are $50/person, and a cash bar will be available. RSVP required.
Beverly Hills steakhouse Morton’s will be presenting a four-course meal paired with Dulce Vida Tequilas. Menu options include ahi ceviche tacos, a chopped house salad, and either prime short rib or shrimp and scallop skewers with mango salsa as the main course. Key Lime Pie will follow for dessert. An $85 ticket includes drinks, tax, and gratuity.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and the LAPD Southeast Community Police Station will host a Cinco de Mayo fest at the Watts Towers. Not only is it a fine opportunity to check out one of Los Angeles’s most captivating pieces of public art, but there will also be mariachi bands, folkloric dance, and more.
Downtown Los Angeles’s 5 Star Bar is a casual dive, with over 50 beers available. For Cinco de Mayo, they’ll welcome musical guests Casa de Calacas, a cumbia reggae from East Los Angeles, and Razon Ska Punk, a Los Angeles ska act.
The Morrison in Atwater Village will run a special Cinco de Mayo menu through Sunday, May 7, 2017. Items include tacos, churros, tres leches cake, nachos and a tostada salad, with most items under $10. Drink specials include a variety of tequila cocktails (priced $7–8), $5 Mexican beers, and $5 tequila shots. On May 5th, mariachi acts will perform.
Cocktail bar Big Bar is bringing back their “Largest Margarita in Los Feliz” on Cinco de Mayo. The cocktail is made with mezcal, not tequila, and is treated as a communal punch bowl for all guests to help consume. While it’s exact measurements are unknown, it’s “big enough for a grown man to hug.” Various other mezcal cocktails will be available throughout the night as well.
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes celebrates Mexican-American culture year-round through a variety of exhibits and programs. Of note is Calle Principal, a re-creation of what Main Street would have looked like in 1920s Los Angeles.