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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo the Angeleno way

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo the Angeleno way

Cinco de Mayo has grown to be a holiday celebrated by many races and ethnicities. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France during the Franco-Mexican war. Though it has often been mistaken as a the Mexican Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo is mostly a minor American holiday that is mostly celebrated in the states or in Puebla, where the 1862 victory took place. According to Andrea Alava, International Media Manager at the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, “The U.S. celebration of Cinco de Mayo originated in Mexican-American communities of the American West, Southwest and Northwest.”

Though most Americans do not know the exact origin of this holiday; it is widely believed that the Cinco de Mayo festivities in the U.S celebrates Mexican culture today. Los Angeles is widely known for its Cinco de Mayo festivities, mostly due to its large Mexican demographic. According to the U.S Census Bureau, as of 2012, 48.2% of the Los Angeles County’s population is Hispanic. This large demographic makes Los Angeles rich with culture; Mexican businesses and celebrations are no stranger to Angelenos, particularly the Cinco de Mayo celebrations. This year, Cinco de Mayo is being celebrated in Los Angeles in new and old ways. Whether it is the infamous Olvera Street, or a concert held in the outdoor Greek Theater, tourists can find ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo during their visit in Los Angeles.


1. Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles Plaza Historic District

The Los Angeles Plaza Historic District, also known as the “El Pueblo de Los Angeles State Historic Park,” will be having many celebrations scattered throughout their historic district. This Cinco de Mayo Festival will be sponsored by LA Fusion and Univision, according to Chris Espinosa, general manager of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. From their famous plaza gazebo to their buzzing Olvera Street, expect the Plaza to be the place to go for a traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration.

The marketplace block-long  Olvera Street attracts up to 2 million visitors every year and will have many vendors, music and dancing. The plaza’s museums are always free to the public year-round, and this weekend is no exception. Museums such as the Plaza Firehouse, Chinese American Museum, Avila Adobe and American Tropical Interpretive Center will be open with free admission.  Regarding this event being a tourist attraction, Espinosa said, “we do get a lot more tourists during Cinco de Mayo, especially from southern California. We get more than 10,000 people every year for Cinco de Mayo.”

Espinosa went on to say that the Cinco de Mayo celebrations will last three days, from Saturday May 3 to Monday May 5. Monday’s celebrations will start at 3pm, perfect for when people start getting off of work, and Saturday and Sunday celebrations will start at 10am.

Guests will witness the famous hand-made tortillas technique Mexican women use to make fresh tortillas. They will also be amazed by the bright colors of the folklorico dresses women wear during the traditional folklorico dances! There will also be a Beer Garden on site Saturday and Sunday, located on Sanchez Street (between the Chinese American Museum and Pico House).

So, come and celebrate a historical holiday at one of the most historical streets in Los Angeles!  As Espinosa said, “You will not be disappointed!”

Where: Olvera Street Pedestrian Zone located at 845 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles

When: Saturday & Sunday, May 3- 4, 2014 from 10am – 10pm; Monday May 5 3pm to 8pm (Saturday May 3 is expected to have a bigger crowd.)

Price: Free


2. 8th Annual Tequila Festival

Come and sample some of the best Tequila Los Angeles has to offer at the 8th Annual Cinco de Mayo Tequila Festival! This Learning Curve sponsored event offers workshops, group tastings, food and giveaways! Guests are welcomed to stay an hour or enjoy a night of tequila sampling and a stroll through the Tequila Garden. Whether you are a tequila lover or a designated driver, there is a great deal and lots of fun waiting for you at this Tequila Festival!

Where: The Village at Ed Gould Plaza 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles

When: Saturday, May 3 from 5pm to 9pm

Price: General Admission, $30; Designated Driver Ticket, $15


3. The 3rd Annual Los Lobos  Cinco de Mayo Festival, With Ozomatli at the Greek Theater

Known as one of the most popular music venues in Los Angeles, the Greek Theater has had legendary artists perform there including Neil Diamond and Smokey Robinson, to name a few. The Greek Theater also hosts the annual Los Lobos Cinco de Mayo festivals; this year is no exception. The event will present the East LA-originated band Los Lobos, the seven piece band Ozomatli and special guests Mariachi El Bronx.  The event will be hosted by KCRW, and will be the third Los Lobos Cinco de Mayo Festival to date! The Grammy-winning band has been the main line-up for this event  all three years, attracting popular special guests every time. This is the perfect way for any music lover to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Where:  The Greek Theater, 2700 North Vermont Ave., Los Angeles        

When: Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 6:30pm

Price:  $38.50 – $85.15


 4. Grande Cinco de Mayo Bock Party in West Hollywood

The second annual Grande Cinco de Mayo Block Party will again take place in West Hollywood and it will be sponsored by the popular Mexican restaurant Tortilla Republic.  Expect dancing, Mexican live music, $6 margaritas, food, raffles, outdoor bars; and no Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without live mariachi!  Also, this year, the Grande Cinco de Mayo Block Party is hoping guests will wear a sombrero in order to break the record of the most worn sombreros!   This event is not only a celebration of Mexican culture, but it is also benefits the Alive Music Project and Project Angel Food. So bring friends and family, and don’t forget to wear that sombrero!                             

Where: Tortilla Republic back lot at 616 N. Robertson blvd., West Hollywood.

When:  Sunday May 4, 2014 from 2pm to 10pm

Price:    $15, General Admission; $25 VIP   - presale prices at     https://tortillarepublic.ticketsocket.com/event/VivaLaFiesta                                              



5. Drinko de Mayo at Howl at the Moon

Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the famous Universal City Walk’s Howl at the Moon venue and club! Their annual Drinko de Mayo festival offers some of the best deals on drink! $3.25 Jose Cuervo shots are just one of some of these great deals! Howl at the Moon is known for its dueling piano bar and has grown to be so popular that they have locations in other state!

Where: 1000 Universal Studios Blvd, Universal City, CA (located inside Universal City Walk)

When: Sunday, May 4at 7pm

Price: $10 cover charge        


Check out these fun Los Angeles tours available during the Cinco de Mayo weekend:





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