Quick, when does Mexico celebrate its independence? If you answered September 16, kudos, you know your Mexican history. If you answered May 5, you probably have a drinking problem. Cinco de Mayo, amigo, commemorates a Mexican victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, not independencia. In the U.S., however, it's an excuse to get trashed on frozen margaritas. Beginning at 6 p.m. this Thursday, celebrate all things Mexican with Oh! Mexico at the 11th annual Cinco de Mayo Street Festival on Española Way. There will be mariachis, stilt walkers, and, best of all, shot girls distributing free margarita shots. Call 305-532-0490. If you're looking to make bad decisions earlier, kick-start your drunken debauchery at Tequila Ranch at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (5760 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Its Cinco de Mayo party starts at 2 p.m., the perfect time for a Dos Equis/tequila boilermaker and a $20 bet with your friends to see who can ride Tequila Ranch's mechanical bull the longest without throwing up. The event is free. Call 954-556-7430 or visit tequilaranch.com. But our favorite Cinco de Mayo fiesta this year features a Canadian ska band, some local punks, and body painters at a historic British bar. For $5, you'll witness Skanko de Mayo at Churchill's Pub(5501 NE Second Ave., Miami), a night of power chords, mosh pits, and fire breathers rocking out like the Mexican army did when it said, Fuck off, Frenchies, and won the Battle of Puebla. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.
Thu., May 5, 2 p.m., 2011