5 ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Chicago

Hopefully you already know that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the Battle of Puebla and not Mexican Independence Day.  Having said that- you can ask virtually any native Mexican what they think of the American celebration- and I’m pretty sure they’ll laugh.  They don’t know why we’ve made such a huge holiday around it, but they are happy for the celebration of their culture.  Latinos are cool like that.  I think we are known for needing little to no reason to celebrate.  And I’m a prime example.

This year, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday, so if you want to ensure you have a place to hang your sombrero- reservations and tickets are recommended.  Here are 5 venues celebrating Cinco de Mayo this week in Chicago.

Cinco de Mayo

SEE, MARCH & DANCE –> Chicago’s Cinco de Mayo Festival & Parade  (May 4-5)
The festival starts May4th in Douglas Park.  The Parade will be held on May 6th at noon. It runs through the heart of Pilsen on Cermak Rd. from Wood to Marshall Blvd.

HISTORY, CULTURE & NEIGHBORHOOD –>  Pilsen Cultural Tour & Fiesta  (May 5 @ 6pm)
Take a private one-hour cultural walking tour of Pilsen led by expert guide followed by Mexican dinner buffet and dessert at Cuernavaca.  Keep the party going with a shuttle to Dos Diablos in River North.

DOG FRIENDLY –> Cinco de Snoots  (May 5 @ 5pm)
Secondhand Snoots Rescue will be hosting thier second anniversary party and fundraiser at Chicago Party Animals at 1133 W Fulton Market in Chicago.

UNIQUE & ARTSY –> LUCHA VaVOOM:  (May 5 @ 9:30)
Continuing their 10-year tradition of celebrating Cinco de Mayo in grand fashion, LUCHA VaVOOM returns to Chicago this year, Saturday, May 5. The mind-blowing, gloriously unhinged and acclaimed Mexican masked wrestling/burlesque/comedy ensemble–known for delivering The Most Outrageous Show on Earth–will also have a simultaneous Cinco de Hollywood performance, too.

HEART HEALTHY –> Cinco de Miler  (May 6 @ 9:30am)
Take it easy on the late-night celebration to wake up for your 5-miles run.  The run starts at Montrose Harbor, Chicago.


Jen Knoedl is Executive Producer of JenChicago Productions, as well as its enthusiastic video host. Click here to find out about sponsorship and partnering opportunities regarding travel, Chicago and entrepreneurship. Tweet Jen at @JenTravelsLife


  1. GD Chaplin says:

    I hereby submit that we need a “Cinco de Mayo” pub crawl, featuring 5 mexican pubs (cantina’s ?) offering 5 types of mexican beer each to put the festive in this fiesta !

  2. JenChicago says:

    That’s a great idea for 2013! Are you gonna put it together for us? :)

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