This Friday is Cinco de Mayo, which is celebrated mainly in the United States and Mexico. Often (mistakenly) thought of as “Mexican Independence Day,” when it’s really the commemoration of the Mexican Army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
What Cinco de Mayo is All About
South of the border, Cinco de Mayo mostly means military parades and ceremonies. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become an opportunity to celebrate Mexican-American culture… or just to celebrate! In fact, it may be more celebrated in the U.S. than it is in Mexico.
Cinco de Mayo became a historic day when General Charles Latrille de Lorencez attacked Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in Mexico, expecting an easy victory with three-to-one odds. The defenders, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, rallied and fortified their position, fighting from sunrise until evening. At the end, the French retreated, having lost five hundred soldiers for every Mexican soldier downed. The symbolic victory changed the course of the occupation and eventually led to French withdrawal.
American involvement in the holiday began in the 1860s, when Mexican miners in Columbia, California heard of the victory over the French and celebrated with fireworks, rifle shots, and patriotic song. The holiday gained momentum among Americans in the 1950s and 1960s, but really took off in the 1980s, when beer companies saw a promotional opportunity too good to pass up. By the Nineties, the holiday was being celebrated in over a hundred cities nationwide, with the Fiesta Broadway celebration in Los Angeles drawing half a million people at its peak.
Many Cinco de Mayo celebrations focus on Mexican music, culture, food, dancing (such as mariachi performances), and margaritas.
Cinco de Mayo Party Cities
So where’s the best place to get your celebration on this Cinco de Mayo? You might consider Las Vegas, where you can enjoy margaritas at the Cabo Wabo Cantina, Senor Frog’s, or even Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at the Flamingo. New York City holds a Cinco de Mayo Parade in Central Park West (followed by a pub crawl), and the famous Fiesta Broadway celebration in Los Angeles is one of the oldest and largest Cinco de Mayo events north of the border.
Cinco de Mayo Trivia
- Though it’s seen a decline in recent years, the “Fiesta Broadway” in Los Angeles is attended by hundreds of thousands of people each year.
- The Cinco de Mayo festival in Chandler, Arizona showcases Chihuahuas as part of its yearly celebration, putting the dogs in parades and crowning a King and Queen Chihuahua in a closing ceremony.
- Perhaps not surprisingly, people in the U.S. consume more tequila on Cinco de Mayo than any other day… more than ten million cases.
- Texas allows the sale of fireworks on Cinco de Mayo in addition to New Year’s’ Eve and the Fourth of July.
If you’re looking to gather some friends for an unforgettable Cinco de Mayo adventure, look no further than Metropolitan Shuttle for your transportation needs. Whether you’re organizing a small getaway with a few co-workers or a blowout with a forty-person party bus, we can help plan, schedule, and organize your trip. We’ll be there every step of the way to make the process safe, comfortable and easy. Want to make your Cinco de Mayo party one to remember? Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or contact us today for a free quote.