Check out the calendar. It's almost the May 5, AKA Cinco de Mayo. The Mexican holiday was not meant to merely celebrate fake mustaches, extra-large sombreros, and lots and lots of tequila. Cinco de Mayo was originally intended to commemorate an underdog Mexican army's victory over the French forces in 1862. But a love for Mexican culture has given the fifth day of May a life of its own.
South Florida doesn't have a large Mexican population, but it does have a lot of tequila, so we go all out for Cinco de Mayo. Here are the best local spots where you can celebrate a 19th-century military victory.
Sombreros on the River. This event is billed as Miami's biggest piñata party, with "hundreds of piñatas, sombreros, and a live mariachi performance." The Miami Heat's house selector, DJ Irie, will provide the soundtrack while you snag a free bottle of Corona every time you buy a shot of tequila. If you RSVP, you get a free sombrero upon arrival. Noon Sunday, May 5, at the Wharf Miami, 114 SW North River Dr., Miami; wharfmiami.com; 305-906-4000. Admission is free.
Cinco de Wynwood. For two days and nights, the Wynwood Marketplace will provide food trucks, live DJs, and dancing. The space will be filled with artisan vendors as well as street art and games. RSVP for a free Dos Equis beer. Noon Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, at Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; cincodewynwood.com. Admission is free.
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Cinco de Mayo Brickell Fiesta. The party in Brickell is so big it spans two days. The block party will offer luchadores, mechanical bull rides, games, authentic Mexican food, and music by local legend DJ Laz. A VIP pass includes entry to the VIP lounge and a grande margarita. 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, at Brickell Waterfront Lot, 609 Brickell Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $15 to $30 via cincodemayobrickell.com.
Cinco de Mayo at Downtown Dadeland. If you're looking for a more kid-friendly spot to celebrate the adult holiday, this party might be for you. This fiesta will offer a kids' activity area with bounce houses, a videogame truck, and face painting. Meanwhile, according to the event's Facebook page, grownups can enjoy "live music, delicious drinks, and food from some of the best chefs in South Florida." 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at Downtown Dadeland, 8915 SW 72nd Pl., Miami; 305-707-4007. Admission is free.
Gro Wynwood. This new spot that advertises itself as pet- and kid-friendly will throw a Cinco de Mayo party. "Cerveza, mezcal, and chapulines are on the menu," reads the event page, where if you RSVP, you can get a free beer from noon to 3. Organizers promise "an afternoon filled with artisan vendors, food trucks, music, and dancing." Noon Sunday, May 5, at 2700 NW Second Ave., Miami; growynwood.com; 305-461-2700. Admission is free.
Cinco de Nacho. The patio party starts in the afternoon with $5 tacos and mezcal margaritas. At night, organizers say, they'll "move things upstairs to El Bolero Room for some serious late-night action." DJs taking their turns include Beki Powell, Danngo, Freckles, Jonny From Space, Nii Tei, Sister System, and True Vine. 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at Melinda's, 2826A N. Miami Ave., Miami; facebook.com/melindas.miami; 305-456-5918. Admission is free.
YardFest: Farewell to the Wynwood Yard. The final Sunday night at the Wynwood Yard will have a Cinco de Mayo theme and tons of live music. Headlined by Locos por Juana, the lineup will also include sets by Anabel & Mounir, Ameyal, the State Of, and Nag Champayons. Sunday, May 5, at the Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; 305-771-4810; thewynwoodyard.com. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
Cinco de Mayo Paddle Party. If you're searching for a healthier, eco-friendly Cinco de Mayo festivity, Blue Moon Outdoor Adventures' event might be for you. Kayak or paddleboard through Fort Lauderdale's South Middle River and Isle of Venice areas while learning about the Battle of Puebla and the local history of Fort Lauderdale. Celebrate Mexican culture by sampling traditional margaritas. 6 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at George English Park & Marina, 1101 Bayview Dr., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $50 to $100 via eventbrite.com.
Cinco de Carnage. E11even will host three nights of Cinco de Mayo partying. Friday night will feature DJ Qiuiz. Saturday will present Diplo. Then, on Sunday, Carnage will deliver a DJ set full of EDM, hip-hop, and trap for a special “Cinco de Carnage” performance. 10 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at E11even Miami, 29 NE 11th St., Miami; 11miami.com; 305-829-2911. Tickets cost $10 to $20 via tixr.com.