Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates an against-the-odds and victorious battle the Mexican army won over the French, who invaded the east coast of Mexico near Veracruz in 1861 and pushed toward Mexico City, the capital. The battle took place on May 5, 1862, near the town of Puebla. Since then, this day is a citywide celebration. Here’s your guide to Cinco de Mayo events, things to do, where to eat and what to drink. Salud!
When: 5 p.m. May 3 and 4; 10 a.m. May 5 and 6
Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash OK. (714) 765-5191, anaheimcinco.org
More than 50 historic airplanes will fly during the Planes of Fame Airshow at Chino Airport that will honor veterans. P-51 Mustangs, P-38 Lightnings, and P-47 Thunderbolts will cross the sky. Visitors can watch a variety of aerial stunts, and veterans will be on discussion panels.
When: 8 a.m. May 5 and 6
Cost, info: Adults $25, children 11 and younger free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Only service animals permitted. (909) 597-3722, lat.ms/planesoffame
The Cinco de Mayo parade with marching bands, dancers, youth groups, equestrians, antique cars and low-riders begins at Sixth and Merrill streets and ends at the Fiesta Band Shell. The fiesta features folklórico dancers, Latin salsa dancing, mariachi bands, ponies, a queen contest, games and a fun zone that includes bounce houses for kids.
When: Parade at 10 a.m., Fiesta at noon May 5
Cost, info: Free but fees for kids zone attractions and carnival games. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash OK. (714) 502-4316, coronacincodemayo.net
Join a festive Cinco de Mayo celebration at El Pueblo Historical Monument and Olvera Street. Visitors can watch cultural and folklórico dances, listen to mariachis and other traditional music, break piñatas, explore exhibits and eat Mexican foods.
When: 11 a.m. May 5 and 6
Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash OK except in museums, where only service animals are permitted. (213) 628-1274, lat.ms/LACinco
El Pueblo de Los Angeles Cinco de Mayo Celebration
From the biggest to the oldest, El Pueblo de Los Angeles has been celebrating the victory over France on this site for more than 140 years (which means that when this particular party started, it was the actual guys from the actual battle still celebrating!). Three days are filled with traditional music, dance, and food on LA’s oldest street.
When: May 5 and 6.
La Cañada Flintridge
Cinco de Mayo Celebration in Descanso Gardens
Descanso Gardens features beautiful botanical gardens to explore. As you take in the surroundings, enjoy a Mexican buffet in honor of Cinco de Mayo along with a live mariachi performance and a dancer. Menu items include drunken beans, or slow-cooked pinto beans with brown sugar, beer, and chili, as well as cheese enchiladas, homemade chicken tamales, a taco station and much more! When you’re done, bite into delicious churros and a caramel flan for dessert.
When: May 5 at 6 pm
Cost, info: It is $50 for adults and $25 for children. (818) 949-4200 www.patinagroup.com
This is the 36th year for Monterey Park’s annual Cinco de Mayo event, with a full program of entertainers in the Barnes Park Amphitheater.
When: May 6.
The Gluten-Free Expo at the Pasadena Convention Center will feature more than 100 companies showing gluten-free foods. Expo visitors can try samples, attend cooking demonstrations and get tips for a gluten-free and hypoallergenic life.
When: May 5, 10:00am – 4:00pm
May 6, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Cost, info: Adults $20 for two days, children 3-12, $10; children 2 and younger free. Only service dogs permitted. (626) 795-9311.
More than 40 master chefs will create bites (including desserts) for the Masters of Taste at the Rose Bowl. Drinks — alcoholic and otherwise — also will be available for sampling. There’s live entertainment, and a DJ will spin tunes for the crowd. Proceeds benefit Union Station Homeless Services.
When: 4 p.m. May 6
Cost, info: Adults from $105. No one younger than 21 permitted. No dogs. (626) 791-6677, mastersoftastela.com
Venice Cinco de Mayo Parade and Festival
A parade on Lincoln Blvd. is not an everyday event. The festivities march north along the beach town thoroughfare, then turn in to go past La Cabaña restaurant and finish at an all-day festival in Oakwood Park.
When: May 5
Cinco de Mayo at Mar Vista Farmers Market
The Farmers Market takes on a Mexican flavor for the day, featuring performers and piñatas among the usual festivities.
When: May 6
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