The very first versions of the May 5 celebrations were less about food and drink, and more about taking a side in a mid-19th century geopolitical conflict. Time
Expect the Cinco de Mayo celebrations to be amped up this year as the date falls on Saturday. Some places aren’t even waiting for the actual day to get the festivities going. Here is a sampling of Cinco de Mayo events in the Phoenix area and beyond.
Revolu Modern Taqueria and Bar
Take part in three days of Cinco de Mayo specials starting Friday, May 4. The restaurant has a modern, Southwestern feel and a menu that features Mexican street food.
Details: 2-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday, May 4-6. Revolu Modern Taqueria and Bar, 15703 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria. No cover charge. 623-878-0215, www.revolutaqueria.com.
Be prepared to dance at this celebration. Two bands (Bayou Bandits from 4-8 p.m. and The Crown Kings from 8 p.m.-midnight) will provide the music. Prizes for contests and events will be given away throughout the night. Enjoy wood-fired Mexican pizza and burritos in addition to the full restaurant menu indoors. A portion of proceeds will go to the McKenna Youth Foundation. If you need a hotel room, the Best Western at 1615 Northern Ave. is offering a group rate.
Details: 3 p.m. Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. Aunt Chilada’s, 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive, Phoenix. $10. 602-944-1286, auntchiladas.com.
Calico Jack’s Mexican Cantina
Mexican Cantina at Westgate Entertainment District offers a Coyotes game-day deal.
Enjoy food and drink specials all day. Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree until 3 p.m. Later, dance on the extended patio. Music provided by DJ EC Rock and Joey Boy from LIVE 101.5 FM. Play-N-Skillz will also make an appearance. Win $2,500 in cash and prizes. Contests include taco and elote eating, jalapeño eating and frozen T-shirt.
Details: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. Calico Jack’s, 6770 N. Sunrise Blvd., Glendale. No cover charge. 623-877-5225, www.calicojacksglendale.com.
Campo de Mayo
Camp Social’s celebration features food and drink specials along with live music until 8 p.m., followed by a DJ until closing. Drink specials include $3 Modelo draft and Pacifico bottled beer, $5 house margaritas and $8 Casamigos shots and margaritas. Food specials include Chef Esteban Contreras tacos (chicken, shrimp or octopus).
Details: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Camp Social, 6107 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. No cover charge. 480-750-0506, www.campsocial.com.
Celebrate at the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association’s annual Chili Verde Day party. Music by mariachis at 9 p.m. and Claudia B.’s Saturday Under the Stars featuring AGRA Royalty and special guests at 9:30 p.m. Drink specials include $5 frozen margaritas, $3 El Jimador and $3 Dos Equis.
Details: Noon Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. Charlie’s Phoenix, 727 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix. No cover charge. 602-265-0224, www.charliesphoenix.com.
Drinks at Cien Agaves. (Photo: Tanzy, Phoenix)
The Old Town Scottsdale location will feature mariachis at 2:30 p.m. During happy hour (3-7 p.m.) specials include $3 Dos Equis, $2.50 tinga tacos and half-off house margaritas. Later there will be specials on Corona buckets and Milagro tequila margaritas.
The north Phoenix restaurant will have its regular happy hour (3-7 p.m. specials) in addition to other drink specials throughout the day. There will be mariachi bands 2-5 p.m. and a Pacifico beach cruiser giveaway.
Details: 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, May 5. 7228 E. First Ave., Scottsdale, 480-970-9002. 7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, 480-467-4455. No cover charge. cienagaves.com.
Cinco de Macayo
Cinco de Macayo runs May 1-5. Drink specials include $3 Modelo Especial, $5 Margarita de Macayo, $6 beer and shot special (Modelo & 1800 Reposado) and $8 1800 margaritas. Food specials include $8.99 for a Mexican flag chimi and $10.49 for a pollo blanco burro. One dollar from each purchase will be donated to Arvizu Scholarships. Macayo’s Depot Cantina will feature a DJ and three bands. All Macayo’s locations will have DJs for the event.
Details: 4 p.m.-close, Tuesday-Saturday, May 1-5. Macayo’s Depot Cantina, 300 S. Ash Ave., Tempe. No cover charge. 480-966-6677, macayo.com.
Cinco de Mario hosted by Mario Lopez
The actor who portrayed A.C. Slater on "Saved By the Bell" is the headliner for a new Cinco de Mayo festival at the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza that features food, drinks, entertainment and appearances by Frankie Quinones, Danny Trejo and The Sugarhill Gang. Expect more than two dozen food and drink vendors, mariachis, ballet folklorico, a kids zone and a "Saved by the Bell" lookalike contest.
Details: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. $15 online, $20 at the door, food and beverages extra, VIP and meet-and-greet with Mario Lopez options available, cincodemario.com.
Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl
Get a wristband and hit some of Old Town Scottsdale’s best bars, including Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, El Hefe, Goodwood Tavern, Old Town Gringos and Wasted Grain. Post pictures during your journey to win prizes. Crawl schedule will be announced Friday, May 4.
Details: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Old Town Scottsdale. $20. scottsdalebarcrawls.com.
Cinco de Mayo in Sedona
Immerse yourself in a colorful fiesta saluting a rich heritage. Enjoy the festivities at Tlaquepaque while cheering and whistling to the music of mariachi musicians, clapping to the steps of folklorico dancers and savoring traditional Mexican food. Ride the free trolley from the Sedona municipal parking lot, 260 Schnebly Road.
Details: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, 336 State Route 179, Sedona. Free. 928-282-4838, www.tlaq.com.
Cinco de Saguaro Pool Party
Chill by the Saguaro Picante pool and enjoy “strictly rhythm-driven desert vibes” provided by DJs Sabio, Trilltone and Lick along with live art by Scribe Pop. Food and drink specials include $12 Hornitos margaritas, $10 Micheladas and three tacos for $7. Cabana rentals available.
Details: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, May 5. The Saguaro Scottsdale, 4000 N. Drinkwater Blvd. Free entry with RSVP. 480-308-1100, thesaguaro.com/scottsdale.
Cobra Arcade Bar
Music, food, arcade games, wrestling … what more could you want? Cobra Arcade Bar’s celebration features lucha libre matches. This year’s event will not be an all-ages affair, however. It includes beer tastings and food from three vendors.
Details: 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. 801 N. Second St., Phoenix. Free. 602-595-5873, cobraarcadebar.com.
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
(Photo: Photos Captured by Peter Speyer, Photos Captured by Peter Speyer)
The Gilbert location will feature country DJs while Scottsdale will host bands from 2-10 p.m. Both clubs will offer Dos Equis, Tecate and Don Julio specials throughout the day.
Details: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. No cover charge. 323 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert; 480-476-8595, dierkswhiskeyrow.com/gilbert-az. 4420 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale. 480-945-4200, dierkswhiskeyrow.com/Scottsdale-az.
Take your pick of three locations of this popular Valley hangout. In Mesa enjoy live music (including Black Bottom Lighters and The Wednesday Time Machine) plus DJs and giant backyard games. Chandler and Tempe will feature DJs all day. Check out Tranzl8r, C-LOS and Rokkwilder at the extended patio in Chandler. Tempe will feature DJ Eddie Lynn & Friends.
Details: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. 8000 S. Priest Drive, Tempe. No cover. 480-753-4577. 1361 N. Alma School Road, Chandler. Cover TBD. 480-855-3303. 1958 S. Greenfield Road, Mesa. Cover TBD. 480-633-5525, dosgringosaz.com.
El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row have teamed up to throw a celebration too big for one bar to contain. The two Mill Avenue establishments are hosting a block party with music (DJs spinning top 40 and hip hop), drink specials (Dos Equis and Hornitos tequila) and games including a water pong tournament with a $1,000 prize.
Details: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, 640 S. Mill Ave., Tempe. No cover charge. 480-794-1477, dierkswhiskeyrow.com/tempe-az; 480-257-2797, elhefe.com/tempe-az.
Tacos at El Hefe in Tempe and Scottsdale. Peter Speyer , Riot Hospitality Group El Hefe: Tacos at El Hefe. (Photo: Photos Captured by Peter Speyer, Photos Captured by Peter Speyer)
For those who didn’t get enough of TV star Mario Lopez at the Cinco de Mario celebration at the Scottsdale Civic Center, come to El Hefe for the official afterparty. There will be a special extended patio to handle the crowd.
Details: 6 p.m. Saturday, May 5. El Hefe, 4425 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale. 480-945-6200, elhefe.com.
El Mirage Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
Kids are welcome at this outdoor festival. Activities include face painting, bounce houses, arts and crafts and pony rides. Adults can visit the beer garden with $2 beer and $3 margaritas. Food from a variety of vendors will be available. Entertainment includes Mariachi Rodriguez, Tradiciones Dance Company and Superhero Band.
Details: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Gentry Park, 14010 N. El Mirage Road. Free. 623-876-2942, www.elmirageaz.gov.
Old Town Gringos
The restaurant will offer $5 Pacifico and Modelo Especial drafts and $6 OTG house margaritas in addition to giveaways and music from the Josh Roy Band and DJ Tranzl8r. Food specials include the Mamas and Papas Nachos and Fajitas in addition to taco platters.
Details: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. 4209 N. Craftsman Court, Scottsdale. Free. 480-423-3800, oldtowngringos.com.
Salt Tacos y Tequila
Food and drink specials all day, plus an extended patio. Margarita specials include $5 for 3 Amigos, $6 Cazadores frozen margaritas, $7 Patron Silver and $8 for Jose Cuervo Tradicional. Beer specials include $3 Estrella Jalisco and $4 Dos Equis. Those looking to groove can enjoy music from DJ Suave from noon-4 p.m., DJ Medic from 4-9 p.m. and DJ Kalin Tyler from 9 p.m. until closing.
Details: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. 6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale. 623-772-7282, saltglendale.com.
Cinco Night Fever will last all day at the Sandbar locations at Desert Ridge and in Chandler. There will be food and drink specials plus live music and DJs. Reservations are accepted.
Details: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 5, to 2 a.m. Sunday, May 6. Desert Ridge Marketplace, Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, 480-585-5900. 7200 W. Ray Road, Chandler, 480-961-1700, sandbaraz.com. Cover charge may apply later in the evening.
Phoenix Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival
The Cinco de Mayo festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary with music, ballet, lucha libre and a kids zone. Performances by Ozomatli, El Chicano, Tierra and Latin Breed plus other local bands will heighten the atmosphere. The kids zone includes rides and games. Food booths will serve traditional dishes, drinks, beer and margaritas.
Details: Noon-10 p.m. Sunday, May 6. Downtown Phoenix, entrance on First Avenue. $5 before 5 p.m., $10 after 5p.m. free for age 10 and younger. cincophx.com.
The fate of every glass is to eventually be empty during the Cinco de Mayo 2013 celebration at Loco Patron in Tempe on Sunday, May 5, 2013.
This North Scottsdale spot is celebrating Cinco de Mayo for five days. Celebration starts Tuesday, May 1. There will be tap takeovers featuring Mexican beers, games, food and drink specials and prize giveaways on Saturday.
Details: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday, May 1-5. Loco Patron, 14950 N. Northsight Blvd., Scottsdale. No cover charge. 480-699-7271, www.locopatron.com.