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Margaritas, Mariachi Bands, and Mucho Más: These Surprising Cities Know How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo table
Written by Going Places

This blog post was updated on May 4, 2022.

The fifth of May — or translated into Spanish, Cinco de Mayo — commemorates the battle victory of the outmatched Mexican army over French forces near the city of Puebla in 1862. Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican-American heritage and culture right here in the United States. Some, however, do confuse it with the celebration of Mexican independence (that’s September 16)…while others argue that the holiday’s surge in popularity in recent years has been orchestrated to sell more beer!

Still, Cinco de Mayo can be a fun and enjoyable celebration, especially if you’re partying in some unexpected locales. So forget all of the usual festivals, like in California, the Southwest, Texas, or even Mexico, and check out some of these surprising places to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. You might already be right near one!

St. Paul, Minnesota

Cinco de Mayo St. Paul Minnesota - Man playing drums

[Above image “Cinco de Mayo street fair” by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr – licensed under CC by 2.0]

Probably the American city thought least likely to have any sort of Cinco de Mayo festival, the Minnesota city regularly appears on lists and articles running down the holiday’s top celebrations throughout the country. And with two days of festivities, including a 5K run, live music, a parade, different “zones” of Mexican heritage, and a jalapeño-eating contest, one can see why travelers take cheap flights in May to the Mile High City.

You may also like: Viva Mexico! How and Where to Celebrate Mexican Independence Day

Denver, Colorado

Cinco de Mayo music

The capital city of Colorado hosts one of the most rocking Cinco de Mayo festivals around. Literally. The celebration puts music center stage with two days of traditional Mexican music and Latin-influenced tunes. There’s also a host of exhibits, food vendors, a parade, a taco-eating contest, and chihuahua races.

Vancouver, Canada

Okay, so even though it’s across the “wrong border”, Vancouver is still home to one of the most famous Cinco de Mayo celebrations in North America. The city itself has more than enough local establishments to help partiers celebrate, from restaurants and bars to night cruises. While you’re there, check out the delicious Cinco de Mayo Mexican Grill and celebrate with burrito bowls, margaritas, and other fresh, handmade drinks.

Brisbane, Australia

Cinco de Mayo Meal

The Aussies may not have the same connection to Cinco de Mayo as Mexicans and Americans, but the celebration of Cinco de Mayo has just started to catch on in the land down under. Particularly, the city of Brisbane has been home to a regular music and food festival over the years…which sounds like an excellent excuse to start looking for flights to Australia for an epic fiesta!

So, where will you be spending Cinco de Mayo? We want to hear about it in the comments section below!

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