Cinco de Mayo is about much more than discounted margaritas and tacos—though we’ll never turn down a homemade tamale—it’s an excellent chance to highlight Mexican culture. While the commemoration of the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico itself, the day has become more widely celebrated here in the U.S. with festivals, parades, and performances. A handful of spots around Denver are hosting family-friendly events to teach families about Mexican-American culture. Here are five places to celebrate in the metro area.
1. Museo de las Americas
The Heart and Soul: The Mariachi
May 3, 5-9 p.m.
Rain or shine, celebrate mariachi, a distinctive style of music and group performance that dates back to the 18th century. This Cinco de Mayo-themed First Friday event on Santa Fe highlights the authentic flair of Latinidad in Denver, with homemade artwork and a mariachi performance at 7 p.m. Free. 861 Santa Fe Drive, Denver
2. Civic Center Park
Cinco de Mayo Festival
May 4 and 5, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Celebrate Mexican culture at this two-day event. Festivities kick off with a community parade on Saturday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to noon at Civic Center Park, followed by Chihuahua races, a taco eating contest, and a lowrider car show. Both days will feature three stages of live music and dance performances including mariachi bands and Trujillo dancers. Free. 101 W. 14th Ave., Denver
3. Colorado Symphony
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta para la Familia
May 5, 2:30 p.m.
Celebrate Mexican culture as the Colorado Symphony and the Mexican Cultural Center team up for a family-friendly event. Start off the afternoon with mariachi music in the DPAC Galleria, and enjoy local food carts with traditional Mexican food and beverages available for purchase. Afterward, families can take part in special activities highlighting Mexican culture, music, and regional dancing. Free. Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 W. 14th Ave., Denver
4. ViewHouse Centennial
Cinco de Mayo Brunch Buffet
May 5, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Craft your perfect brunch at ViewHouse’s Cinco de Mayo Brunch Buffet. Try a mix of Mexican cuisine, including barbacoa, butternut squash enchiladas, Spanish rice, and chile rellenos. Finish the meal off with churros and flan. $29 for adults, $10 kids ages six to 12, and free for kids five and under. 7101 S. Clinton St., Centennial
5. Outlets at Castle Rock
Cinco de Mayo Celebration
May 4 and 5
The Outlets at Castle Rock hosts a two-day celebration with local food trucks, Mexican beers (for a $5 donation to the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley), and traditional dances from multiple regions of Mexico. On Sunday May 5, a mariachi band will serenade guests in the food court from noon to 1 p.m. 5050 Factory Shops Blvd., Castle Rock