Where to celebrate the festive holiday this year in the Twin Cities

By Aubrey Schield

A brief history lesson: Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration held on the 5th of May to commemorate the unlikely victory of the Mexican army over French troops in the 1862 Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Though the city would be taken by French troops about a year later, ultimately the war would end with Mexican forces on top, reclaiming their homeland and thwarting attempts by foreign entities to conquer them.

Today, Cinco de Mayo is less a commemoration of a single battle of yesteryear and more of a vibrant celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. In honor of the holiday, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Cinco de Mayo celebrations throughout the Twin Cities.

Cinco de Mayo at Lago Tacos Excelsior
May 5 from 11 a.m.
Start the party early at Excelsior’s Lago Tacos, featuring live music, an outdoor taco tent and amazing drink specials ($3 Pacifico pints and $5 house margaritas).

Pajarito Cinco de Mayo Celebration
May 5 from 3 to 9 p.m.
St. Paul’s newest Mexican eatery is hosting an outdoor tent party in celebration of Cinco de Mayo this year. Teaming up with neighbor Bad Weather Brewing, they will offer food, refreshments, dancing and a whole lot of fun for the whole family.

Taco Eating Contest at Mystic Lake Casino
May 5 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Watch contestants battle it out for cash prizes at Mystic Lake‘s taco eating contest. And stick around for Lucha Libre wrestling in the Grand Ballroom at 10 p.m.

Chihuahua Party at The Freehouse
May 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Hang out with chihuahuas at The Freehouse this Cinco de Mayo. The North Loop restaurant is partnering with Underdog Rescue for an epic celebration where you can meet some adoptable dogs and enjoy a libation or two at the same time.

Cinco de Mayo West Side
May 6 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Head to St. Paul’s West Side neighborhood for this lively, daylong celebration. Cinco de Mayo West Side features live music and dancing, a parade, car show, jalapeno eating contest and a 5K race.

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