Some people recognize Cinco de Mayo as the day that Mexico defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla. The holiday tradition celebrates Mexico’s freedom and culture of its people. In Denver, the historic day is celebrated as the “Celebrate Culture” festival and it returns for its 30th anniversary in 2017. Denver is ranked in the top five for having the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the country with about 400,000 people attending two days of events. This year’s fest will be May 6 and 7 in Civic Center Park. Visitors will find live Latin music, dancers and many food vendors serving historic Mexican dishes. The parade will take place on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Other events include a taco eating contest, quinceañera fashion show and chihuahua races.
Not everyone will make it downtown for the big festival so, we’ve come up with some additional events that will take place throughout the weekend. Some events are Cinco de Mayo themed, while others are simply scheduled for the weekend.
-Check out the Centro in Boulder. An all-day pig roast on the patio will include tacos, tamales, enchiladas and grilled corn. Look for drink specials on beer and wells. However, if you come in your poncho or sombrero, you can get $5 margaritas all night long.
-The Fort Collins Cinco de Mayo Festival is May 5 from 4-10 p.m. and May 6 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The festival will celebrate the family culture and community in Fort Collins and will feature many food vendors, live bands, beer garden, a kids zone, dancers, car show, arts and crafts, zumba in the square, face painting and more.
-Colorado Springs Fiesta and Car Show at Freedom Financial Services Expo Center, May 6, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.There will be live entertainment and a car show that is great for the whole family to attend. There will be lots of food with specialty vendors and dancers with a motivational speaker, Angel Aviles, at the event from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
-Big Choice Brewing Cinco de Mayo/Fifth Anniversary Party, May 5, 2 p.m.-9 p.m. Big Choice Brewing is celebrating its fifth anniversary on the fifth of May, or Cinco de Mayo, and will be releasing two new beers: a Tequila Barrel-Aged Gose, which is their traditional Gose aged in a tequila barrel since last summer; and a Horchata-inspired Oatmeal Stout. The beers are taproom only selections and in limited quantities so, get there early to celebrate. They are also having a taco bar pot luck.
-Cocktails and Cacti Fiesta at Salt and Grinder, May 5, 6:30 p.m. Salt and Grinder is pairing up with The Perfect Petal to have people sip on margaritas and learn everything they need to know about how to plant to perfect garden, or in this case, a cactus. The purchase of a ticket includes four individual succulents (includes aloes, cactus, and jade), a container for the garden, step by step instructions and a margarita. Other drinks and snacks will be available for purchase during the event.
-Cinco de Drinko at Lime Pavilions, May 5, 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Join the party at Lime Pavilions for drink specials, photo booth, mariachi band, live DJ and giveaways.
-Skate-O-De Mayo 2017 at Little Machine Beer, May 6, 11 a.m. Little Machine Beer will be having their yearly party in the parking lot to celebrate the return of their Sir Veza Mexican-Style Lager and the release of their new Southwestern-Inspired Saison that they have brewed in collaboration with Black Fox Beer. There will be a rail jam and live music by Denver punk rock band, King Rat. They will also have limited edition T-Shirt artwork being screen printed by Dizzie inK Screen Printing.
-The Denver Mini Derby at Stanley Marketplace, May 6, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. This year the Stanley Marketplace is hosting a 2017 Kentucky Derby viewing party. At the event you can see Corgi races, best dressed awards, the Kentucky Derby live and a mini-horse race. They will be working hard to bring the spirit of the event to Colorado. Tickets are available for purchase online and must be bought in advance – tickets will not be available at the door, and they’re certain to sell out!
-Derby Day Party at St Julien Hotel & Spa, May 5, From 1 p.m.-5 p.m. In honor of Derby Day, St Julien Hotel & Spa will be having specials on Woodford Reserve mint juleps ($8) and a live jazz band from The Good Manners Quartet on the Terrace. There will be a Derby hat competition and a giant outdoor photo booth to remember the day. They will be serving southern style Derby Day bites for you to snack on while you cheer.
-Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Fight Night, May 6, 7 p.m. The fight between Alvarez and Chavez could be the biggest rivalry in Mexican history. The two are some of Mexico’s finest boxers with impressive records. Catch all the fight action at Jackson’s in LoDo.
-Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, May 5-7 Visit the Viewhouse Eatery, Bar, & Rooftop or any number of restaurants, taprooms and breweries for Cinco de Mayo food and drink specials.
-Star Wars Day May The Fourth Be With You, May 4 Unser Racing is having Star Wars themed events and contests. You can also get in on the Star Wars action at Art Wars! at the Curtis Hotel.
Compiled by Jamie Mills