Cinco de Mayo honors the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in the 1860s.
At least in Mexico.
In the U.S., the weekend has also become a celebration of Mexican culture complete with Mariachi music, parades, piñatas and restaurant specials.
So don your sombrero and check out our top 10 places to book your Cinco de Mayo plans, May 3-5, in no particular order. Or share where you will be that day.
* Head out to Desert Hot Springs for its inaugural Salsa Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the downtown area at Pierson Boulevard and Palm Drive. Cool off those hot salsa flavors with some frosty beverages, and there will be a Kids Zone and classic cars on display.
* The party runs all weekend at Spotlight 29 Casino starting Saturday night with strolling Mariachis. Sunday, there are plenty of drink specials at The Hot Spot, JEM Steakhouse and Blue Bar.
* The same is true at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino where Pepe Aguilar kicks the festivities off on stage Saturday night with Serenata Mexicana playing Mariachi music on the gaming floor. Sunday, hit the Fresh Grill Buffet and choose from brunch specialties like huevos rancheros, chili rellenos to Achiote roasted loin of pork or chicken mole’ poblano.
* Las Casuelas Terraza in downtown Palm Springs will have live music, entertainment and giveaways while serving up authentic Mexican food starting at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
* Start the weekend from 6-8 p.m. Friday with a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Indio Performing Arts Center featuring live music, sample the taste of Mexico cuisine plus an art contest.
* Don Diego’s in Indian Wells starts the party Saturday from 3-9 p.m. and continues Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Live music features Johnny Gi-Tar, contest prizes and promotional gifts. From 3-6 p.m., the Fiesta Hour includes $1 tacos and house margaritas for $4.25.
* Guillermo’s in Palm Desert will have tequila tastings from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant offers more than 300 varieties.
* Coachella starts its Cinco de Mayo activities with its inaugural 5-kilometer run/walk at 8 a.m. Registration starts at 7 a.m. The fiesta runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes a re-enactment of the Battle of Puebla. There is live entertainment, strolling Mariachis, food drinks and games on Fourth Street between Orchard Street and Vine Avenue.
* One of the oldest Cinco de Mayo celebrations, the city of Riverside conducts its 106th over two days free to the public. A parade at 10 a.m. opens Saturday’s festivities, and there will be bands, dancers, food vendors and game booths at Villegas Park, 3091 Esperanza St.
* The Moreno Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrates Latino history with a free event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. There will be live performances from local entertainers, bands and Mariachi, good food and an appearance from world champion boxer Mickey Angel Garcia.
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