How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Dallas

Margaritas, tacos and mariachi bands — another Cinco de Mayo is almost here, and Dallas has big plans. Originally the commemoration of a somewhat improbable military victory by the Mexican Army, this annual holiday (not to be confused by Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16) has grown into a nationwide fiesta celebrating all aspects of Mexican and Mexican-American culture. Check out these muy divertido events in and around Downtown Dallas this May 5.

If you’re looking for authenticity above all, don’t miss Saturday’s Cinco de Mayo Parade and Fiesta. The parade will march down historic Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff, a street home to some of Dallas’ most historic and iconic Mexican-American-owned businesses. With over 60 floats, live mariachi bands, DJs and even custom classic cars, there’s plenty to see and do. It all gets underway at 10 a.m., with the whole enchilada wrapping up by 2 p.m.

If you’re mostly interested in enjoying all the Mexican fare you can eat, then you definitely can’t miss Dallas Bites’ Best Taco & Margarita Tour. As a motor coach conveniently takes you from hot spot to hot spot (and yes, margaritas will be served onboard), you’ll taste the city’s most delicious Mexican food, including the famous taco voted “Best in America” by Bon Appetit magazine. Night owls can even RSVP for the Ultimate Taco Tour. Just make sure to register ASAP.

Mexican restaurants throughout Downtown Dallas will also be celebrating. Taqueria La Ventana (1611 McKinney Ave.) will be hosting its fifth Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Party favors will include their famous street tacos, live music, a DJ and more. El Bolero (201 Oak Lawn Ave., #160) in the nearby Design District will be offering $5 margaritas all day long, and party-goers can also try their luck riding a mechanical bull. Don’t miss similar celebrations at La Popular Tamale House (132 N. Peak St.), where you can load up on delicious tamales for only $10 — plus free margaritas — and a rooftop party at Happiest Hour (2616 Olive St.).

However, if you’d like to spend this party-packed weekend eating less and moving more, make sure to check out the 7th annual Cinco de Mayo Volley Fiesta. This one-day volleyball tournament is open to recreational, intermediate and competitive players and is held at the Sandbar Cantina and Grill in Exposition Park (317 S. 2nd Ave.). Grab your friends, form a team and you’ll be guaranteed a minimum of three games — and did we mention the cold cervezas between matches? You can also slow it down at Mindfulness + Margaritas, held at Mockingbird Station (5307 E Mockingbird Ln.) on Saturday the 5th. Enjoy a yoga and meditation class, free henna, a braid bar and swag bag.

Need a family-friendly activity for Cinco De Mayo? Head over to The Dallas Farmers Market (1010 S. Pearl Expy.) for a free outdoor screening of Disney Pixar’s hit animated feature Coco. The movie begins at 7:45 p.m., and it’s BYOS (bring your own seating), so be sure to pack a few blankets or folding chairs. Even better, arrive early to grab dinner and explore The Market, which covers 26,000 square-feet and features a diverse array of local food and craft vendors. You might even find some Mexican-inspired home decor that catches your eye.

Lastly, if you want to get fancy and try something a little less traditional, consider attending the Derby Day Party 2 at the W (2440 Victory Park Ln.), which will combine a Cinco de Mayo celebration with the running of the horses at the famed Kentucky Derby. The party will be held 33 floors up in the Altitude Lounge, and admission is free before 4 p.m. with an RSVP. Attendees are encouraged to wear Derby attire.

What’s your favorite part about Cinco de Mayo? The food and drink? The music? The culture? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.