US Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo in the US has grown in popularity in recent years, as many cities have begun planning their own events. Although there have always been some small celebrations among the Mexican American population, cities have taken on the responsibility of throwing great US Cinco de Mayo parties. The parades, events, and festivals that occur each year in numerous cities, such as Chicago, Denver and San Antonio, allow Americans to learn about the unique Mexican culture and for Mexican-Americans to openly share their traditions. From parades and festivals to authentic Mexican food and crafts, it is a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2016 without having to travel all the way to Mexico.

Austin

Austin Texas is famous for its annual Cinco de Mayo Music Festival. Every year during the holiday, musicians descend upon the capital city and bring their talent to the stage. Visitors get to enjoy traditional Mexican music and mariachi music accompanied by beautiful dances in traditional Mexican dress. There are popular dance contests held during the festival as well where dancers try their best in Salsa, the Jitterbug and Polka. In addition to the live music and dancing, there is an annual Jalapeno Eating Contest—only the brave should participate—and various stalls serving delicious Mexican cuisine. With all the festivities that are organized each year, Austin definitely is home to one of the best Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the US.

Chicago

The Windy City hosts a slew of events each year in celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the US. Douglas Park is one of the best areas to participate in the festivities with various craft and food stalls, presentations, cultural displays and live bands. There is usually a parade held of the Sunday closest to Cinco de Mayo and a carnival to follow. Various restaurants and eateries around the city also offer spectacular deals on Mexican food and drinks for a set price. Among the most popular deals are $5 Coronas and guacamole at Carnivale and $6 margaritas at the Twisted Lizard until the early hours of the morning.

Denver

Often noted as the largest and best Cinco de Mayo celebration in the US, Denver offers the widest array of activities and celebrations one will find in America. Every year the festivities are held at the Civic Center Park from the early morning until the sun sets on the weekend closest to Cinco de Mayo. With more 350 exhibitors and food vendors descending upon the area, thousands of visitors flock to the celebration each year. Denver also boasts three stages that are booked with live entertainment throughout the festivities, a children’s carnival, the Green Chili Cook-Off and hundreds of free samples and giveaways. The celebration here is a true testament to the appreciation of Mexican heritage and culture, and more than 400,000 people attend each year.

Los Angeles

LA is home to one of the best US Cinco de Mayo parties and one of the largest street festivals for the holiday. Fiesta Broadway is a mile-long stretch packed with music, games, and vendors, and Cinco de Mayo at Olvera Street is another great option with traditional Mexican music, folklorico dancers, piñatas, and children's activities. The celebration in Santa Ana is one of the most entertaining, as the city is home to the largest Mexican-American community in Orange County. Historic Fourth Street sets up with live entertainment, carnival rides, food and craft vendors and live dances for two days straight.

San Antonio

The home of the Alamo is one of the best places to go for Cinco de Mayo in the US. Market Square is home to the largest celebration with live music, dance exhibitions, and food stalls setting up for the duration of the holiday. If you prefer to spend the day listening to authentic Mexican music, Rosedale Park holds a day-long music festival beginning at noon. Late in the evening the San Antonio Symphony also holds a free concert, topping off the celebration with beautiful music. If you are taking in the commemoration and celebration with children, be sure to check out the Tower of the Americas festival that is kid-friendly and hosts a mariachi performance.

San Jose

This California city is often thought of as having the best Cinco de Mayo celebration in the US. Each year a lively and vibrant parade is held to begin the activities and events being held for the holiday. The parade celebrates Mexican culture and heritage and is well attended. After the parade, everyone heads to the Guadalupe River Park where live music and entertainment is held alongside various vendors. Food stalls cook up authentic Mexican cuisine, and there is an array of goods that can be purchased. Traditional musical and dance performances are also held in the park. About 300,000 people attend the festivities in San Jose each year, making it one of the largest US Cinco de Mayo parties.

Image: meetminneapolis (flickr)

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