While Cinco de Mayo is commonly misunderstood to be Mexican Independence Day, May 5 actually marks the date in 1862 when an outmanned, overmatched Mexican militia succeeded in crushing Napoleon’s French army at the Battle of Puebla.
Today, Cinco de Mayo is recognized mostly in the U.S. as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride (Mexican Independence Day is celebrated Sept. 16). And while it’s also become an excuse to drink too much tequila, it’s a great way to get out, sample some authentic Mexican food, celebrate diversity and enjoy spring.
The 47th annual Cinco de Mayo parade rolled through Mexicantown in Detroit last weekend, but there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the occasion across Michigan this week.
Bay City’s Cinco de Mayo Fiesta! “Desastre” will feature tacos, menudo and music in a fundraiser for a local Boy Scout troop. The event takes place Saturday, May 14 at the Prime Event Center. Or click here if you’re not on Facebook
The second annual Westshore Super Cinco de Mayo Blowout Celebration is Saturday, May 7 from noon-7 p.m. at the Westshore Mall and features a car, truck and bike show in addition to food, live music, games and exhibitors.
The fourth annual Cinco do Mayo celebration takes over Upjohn Park Saturday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. with food and merchandise vendors, local artists and performers and children’s activities.
Latinos Working for the Future will hold a more serious-minded event to discuss the needs and interests of Latinos in West Michigan Thursday at 4 p.m. at Muskegon Community College.
The Our Lady of Guadalupe Hispanic Mission will host a parade at noon Saturday, May 7 along with food, activities and a menudo contest. Information here.
The 32nd annual Cinco de Mayo festival takes place Saturday, May 7 and bills itself as the largest Hispanic parade in the state with more than 100 entrants, including civic groups, local businesses, low-rider cars and marching bands. Live music and a 5K run as well. Hosted by La Union Civica Mexicana.
Downtown Wyandotte will be the scene of live entertainment all day Saturday, May 7 from 1-8 p.m. with Mariachi bands, face painting, piñatas for children and more.