Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Chicago

May 04, 2011

May 5 is Cinco de Mayo.

Spanish for “fifth of May”, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the unlikely victory of 4,000 Mexican soldiers over the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Strangely, Cinco de Mayo is a bigger holiday in the United States than it is in Mexico. In fact, Chicago hosts the second largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the country behind Denver.

Guess it’s not that strange, since Americans love to party, and Cinco de Mayo is one big party.

You can easily host a Cinco de Mayo fiesta in your Chicago home. Dress and decorate in green, red and white — the colors of the Mexican flag — cook up some tamales, hang a piñata and shake some maracas.

If you would rather go out, every Mexican restaurant and bar in Chicago is offering some kind of Cinco de Mayo event or special.

If you are looking to enjoy some Mexican heritage, visit the National Museum of Mexican Art, which contains one of the largest collections of Mexican art in the country and is the only Latino museum accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The museum is located at 1852 W. 19th Street in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Admission is free, and the museum will be open on Cinco de Mayo.

The entire Pilsen neighborhood will be hopping with Cinco de Mayo energy. Here are two other Chicago festivals where you can fiesta up:

Cinco de Mayo Street Festival: The 5th annual fest takes place on Honore and Milwaukee in Chicago. There will be live music, dancing, mariachis, salsa, outdoor grilling and more.

When: Thursday, May 5; 3 to 8 p.m.

Where: Honore & Milwaukee, Chicago

Cost: The $5-requested donation benefits Friends of Burr School

Visit: for more information

Little Village Cinco de Mayo Festival: For the second year in a row, this three-day festival will be held at Douglas Park in the Little Village neighborhood, known to many as the heart of Chicago’s Mexican community. There will be live music, food, arts & crafts, activities for children and more. More than 200,000 people are expected to join the party.

When: Friday, May 6; 6 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8; 2 to 11 p.m.

Where: 26th Street and Kostner in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood

Cost: Free

Visit: for more details

For more Cinco de Mayo events in Chicago, visit

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! (Happy Cinco de Mayo!)

Categories: Events, In the City

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Read All Stories By Tracey



Hi Tracey –

I know one of my colleagues contacted you already but I also wanted to say thank you for referencing our Cinco De Mayo site ( here. On our main site – nowYOUknow Events ( we promote a variety of events in and around Chicago. Please take a look and subscribe to keep up-to-date on all things Chicago. And let us know if you would ever like us to promote anything for you by emailing our gmail account:

Thanks again –
Katie C

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