Cinco de Mayo is traditionally recognized in the United States as a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture. It was first celebrated in California in commemoration of Mexico’s defeat of the French army on May 5,1862 in the Battle of Puebla. The tradition caught on in the rest of the United States during the second half of the twentieth century, and today, it’s celebrated with parades, special events and fiestas in many restaurants and bars. From Saturday, May 2 through Tuesday, May 5, there are a number of top Cinco de Mayo celebrations and special events throughout the city and surrounding area. The top events are highlighted below.
Cinco De Mayo Urbano
Urban Art Gallery
262 S. 52nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
Date: Tuesday May 5, 2015 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Cinco de Mayo Urbano is a pairing of culinary delights and art delivered by Chef Joy Parham and the Urban Country team. Featuring Mexican cuisine, signature cocktails, dancing and a Mexican inspired exhibit of art by local artists Rik Lei and Efi Green, this indoor event is destined to be a fiesta to remember. Admission to this fundraiser is by ticket only, with complimentary wine, spirits and unlimited small plates included in general admission for those 21 and older. For those wishing to attend simply to network with other entrepreneurs and artists, the young professional option covers the attendee’s first cocktail. A portion of the proceeds raised will support the Food 365 campaign to prepare and provide meals during the holiday season for the homeless and elderly.
Cinco De Mayo Benefit Bike Ride and Walk
Chester Valley Trail, Exton Trailhead
140 Church Farm Lane
Exton, PA 19341
Date: Sunday May 3, 2015 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
The Cinco de Mayo Benefit Bike Ride, which supports the Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports, provides the funds necessary to deliver sports and wellness programs for individuals with disabilities. Pick your distance along an 11-mile long route, or go for the gusto on either the 25-mile or 50-mile routes. Participants are encouraged to recruit friends, family or coworkers to ride as a team. You can also show support with a donation. Anyone under the age of 16 who chooses the 25 or 50 mile routes must be accompanied by a parent. All riders are required to wear helmets as well as abide by traffic laws. All participants, regardless of their route, will be met at the finish with fabulous food and music provided by Mas Mexicali Cantina.
Cinco De Mayo, Distrito
3945 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Date: Tuesday May 5, 2015 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
The fiesta starts at this University City eatery at 11:30 on May 5 with $5 Margaritas, $3 select draft beers, Tecate beer and $5 “Mexican-style” tequila and Modelo Especial combos all day long. The party kicks into high gear at 6:00 p.m. with a DJ, giveaways and a raffle. The modern Mexican small plates by Iron Chef Jose Garces and the 600 “lucha libre” masks hanging throughout the restaurant lend themselves to the atmosphere of authentic Mexican culture. Nothing says Cinco de Mayo quite like tequila and Distrito’s tequila bar is superb with more than 100 tequilas to choose from.
Cinco De Mayo Specials
2025 Washington Ave
It’s food and drink specials galore at Cafe Ynez on Cinco de Mayo. Stop in for three pork tacos and a free shot of tequila for $10, or BYOB and make your own with fresh juice mixers. Want to score an even better deal? Follow the restaurant on social media for the secret password and you’ll get $2 off a cocktail mixer.
Philly Cinco De Mayo Bar Crawl
Ladder 15 (starting point)
1528 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Date: Saturday May 2, 2015 12:00 p.m. into Sunday May 3, 2:00 a.m.
With the rallying cry of “1Tequila, 2 Tequila, 3 Tequila, Crawl!”, Philly’s Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl will get underway May 2. Registration is open from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Ladder 15 on Sansom Street, where crawl participants will collect their event wristband as well as cup, map, and other items. Bar crawlers will enjoy no-cover access to participating bars as well as plenty of exclusive food and drink specials. The organized bar crawl registration is $10 for Saturday’s event.
Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.