Cinco de Mayo is a traditional Mexican holiday that has been celebrated since 1862. It commemorates Mexico’s defeat over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). While in Mexico, the celebration of the holiday is relatively tame, Mexican-Americans have begun to use it as a way to celebrate their heritage and culture. Their celebrations have rubbed off on many people in the United States, and now Cinco de Mayo can be celebrated by anyone who enjoys Mexican food and culture. Throwing a Cinco de Mayo bash can be a fun experience for anyone, granted you remember a few details.
An easy way to decorate for Cinco de Mayo is to deck out your party with the colors of the Mexican flag – green, white, and red. Having big, Mexican flower arrangements around the venue will be sure to brighten everyone’s day. Dahlias, hibiscus, and bougainvillea are all good contenders. If the party is outdoors, colorful paper lanterns will bring some liveliness and energy to the forum. Use multi-color, striped table cloths, with bright plates, bowls, and silverware to guide people to the table to eat and be merry.
When it comes to entertainment, classic Mexican games are sure to get everyone involved. Pin the tail on the donkey can be a fun one for adults and for kids. Bringing in a piñata is sure to get the whole party laughing. You can even have two–one for the kids, and one for the adults. Fill the kids’ one with the traditional candy, while the adult version will be a little more unique with plastic nips.
Dancing is a favorite Mexican pastime, and a fun activity to do with all of your guests. Hire a dance instructor to teach your guests a traditional Mexican dance. Some of these dances include the salsa, samba, or the bachata. For the kids, set up a limbo competition.
Tequila is the staple liquor in Mexico, and you can make plenty of delicious cocktails with it. First, there is the classic margarita. Just mix 1 ½ ounces of tequila with ½ ounce of cointreau and the juice of a lime. To mix it up a bit, try this unique margarita recipe from the Cooking Channel:
1/4 cup pomegranate juice, store bought is fine, plus seeds for garnish
1/3 cup Tequila Blanco (about 4 ounces)
1/8 cup Triple Sec (about 1-ounce)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 ounces)
12 ounces ice cubes
Margarita salt, optional
Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a blender and pulse until frothy and well combined. Rim glasses with lime juice using a lime wedge then dip in margarita salt, drop some fresh pomegranate seeds in the bottom of the glass and pour margarita mix over the top.
For the kids, try a Mexican lemonade from Happy Thoughts:
Ice cold lemonade
the juice of two limes
2 handfuls of chopped cilantro (coriander)
If you’re feeling brave, chopped chili peppers to taste!
Fill a jug with the lime juice, coriander and peppers (to taste) and muddle gently together. Add some ice and top up the jug with lemonade.
For beer lovers, keep plenty of Coronas on hand.
Traditional Mexican food should fare well for your guests. To keep it simple, set up a taco bar with all the fixings so people can put as much, or as little, on their tacos as they would like. Also, instead of just having ground beef, keep some other options at the bar as well, such as steak strips, ground turkey, grilled chicken, and rice for the vegetarians. Everyone will be happy with a myriad of options.
If you would like to have a Cinco de Mayo get-together with authentic Mexican flair, but without the hassle of throwing a party, Mexicali Fresh Mex Grill has the best food and atmosphere to please any crowd. We have plenty of locations, with one in Spencer, Holden, or Ware, Massachusetts. We also have a newly opened location in Dayville, Connecticut. We would love to have your family and friends down for a celebration!