The Cinco de Mayo holiday originated as a celebration of Mexico's defeat of France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War, but Americans have embraced it and made it their own. It's definitely one of the biggest party days in the Lou, and as such, we’ve rounded-up top fiestas around town:
Cherokee Street's Day-Long Fiesta
Cherokee Street will once again host what is reported to be the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the city. The stretch of the street between Nebraska and Iowa will be the site of the party, and from 11am to 9:30pm, there will be a veritable cornucopia of activities, from live art demos, musical performances, authentic Mexican food and drink and a parade, among other revelry.
Cinco de Mayo on Cherokee Street, cincodemayostl.com
Diablitos Cantina's Two-Day Bash
Diablitos Cantina will be partying for two days straight to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The cantina will open at 11am on Fri., May 4, and 9am on Sat., May 5, and there will be a full range of food and drink specials, contests, games and live entertainment that will occupy the entire area around the restaurant.
Diablitos Cantina, 3761 Laclede Ave., 314.644.4430, diablitoscantina.com
Milagro Modern Mexican's Family Friendly Fiesta
On Sat., May 5, Milagro Modern Mexian is hosting an all-day, family friendly fiesta on the restaurant’s parking deck.
The party goes from noon to 10pm, with Mexican street food, margaritas, horchata snow cones and cervezas. There’ll be activities for the whole family from noon to 3pm, including face painting and balloon animals from Circus Kaput, bottle-cap necklaces from Yucando Art Studio in Webster Groves and more. Be sure to stick around for the Taco Eating Contest at 4pm to benefit Operation Food Search and Latin beats by DJ Alejan from 5 to 10pm.
Catch 22 Gastrolounge’s Cinco de Mayo Bash
Catch 22, an upscale casual dining establishment and wine bar located in the heart of downtown Belleville, Ill., is switching bait for the day to feature an authentic Mexican menu on Sat., May 5, for the restaurant’s Cinco de Mayo fiesta from 1 to 10pm.
Owners Luis Ibarra and wife Marisol Cota-Ibarra are both of Mexican descent and possess a strong passion for cooking the family recipes handed down to them from many generations. They’re looking forward to preparing their favorites - paired with special wines, homemade sangria and housemade margaritas.
Ste. Genevieve’s Crown Valley Brewery will be adding a little extra to the celebration with an exclusive batch of Mexican hand-crafted beer called Loco Blanco – made just for the occasion.
Reservations are required only for the special $25 Fiesta Package, which includes one entrée, three samples of Crown Valley wine or craft beer and a souvenir glass. The dining room and wine bar will be open from 1 to 10pm, and walk-ins are welcomed.
Catch 22 Gastrolounge, 22 Mascoutah Ave., Belleville, Ill., 618.223.8822, catch22Gastrolunge.com
Rosalita's Cantina's Weekend Celebration
Rosalita's Cantina is making a full weekend of it as well, holding a street festival in front of the restaurant from 5pm to midnight on Fri., May 4, and from 11am to midnight on Sat., May 5. The party will include plenty of fine food and drink, of course, as well as live music and activities for the whole family.
Rosalita's Cantina, 1235 Washington Ave., 314.621.2700, rosalitascantina.com
Hacienda Mexican Restaurant's Long-Standing Tradition
Hacienda Mexican Restaurant has one of the longest-running and most popular Cinco de Mayo celebrations in town. This year, the restaurant will open an hour earlier, at 10 am, and will be making it as easy as possible for guests to get to the party. The eatery will have a map on its website to show what local parking is available, and will host a shuttle service from participating lots. As usual there will be various tents around the restaurant grounds housing a variety of food and drink options, as well as live local radio broadcasts and tons of live music.
Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, 9748 Manchester Road, 314.962.7100, haciendastl.com
Maplewood's Cinco de Mayo Celebrations
There will be a cluster of Cinco-related events happening in downtown Maplewood. Maya Cafe (2726 Sutton Blvd., 314.781.4774, mayacafestl.com) will have food and drink specials and live music, plus what they deem "a few surprises" from Thu., May 3, through Sat., May 5. Just around the corner, Las Palmas (7356 Manchester Road, 314.645.3359) will be offering eating and drinking deals on Sat., May 5, as well.