Do you know there’s more to Cinco de Mayo than fiestas and margaritas? No, it’s not the “Mexican Independence Day”. That falls on September 16th, which commemorates revolutionary Miguel Hidalgo’s call for war against Spain. Cinco de Mayo remembers an unlikely victory, and in the United States, it’s become a celebration of Mexican culture. Many events across Miami can help you get into the Cinco de Mayo spirit.
Why the U.S. Loves Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo pays tribute to the Battle of Puebla, which took place against the French on May 5, 1862. Mexico had fallen into debt, so Napoleon III used this as a reason to add the country to his empire. Against all odds, Mexico’s small army, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, fought off General Charles Latrille de Lorencez’s troops.
It’s a minor battle in a war that continued for six years, but the victory greatly boosted morale. Historians say that if the Mexicans had lost, the French might have supported the Confederacy in the Civil War.
In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo isn’t as big as their “Dia de la Independencia”. California first started the tradition in 1863; it then spread after President Franklin Roosevelt enacted the “Good Neighbor Policy”. The holiday became commercialized once alcohol manufacturers capitalized on it in the 1980’s.
Finding a Fiesta in Miami
Miami’s biggest Cinco de Mayo block party happens in Brickell each year. Head over to Mary Brickell Village for a DJ battle, Mexican beer, tequila shots, and an 8-foot tall piñata named Paco. Add in a ticket to the Cinco de Mayo Brickell Bar Crawl, which covers five bars in the area. There’s also a bar crawl in Wynwood with a photo booth and Mariachi Bands.
If you’re more of a tequila person, check out Tequila Run Miami. The L Boulevard Cafe Supper Club has discounted tequila and tacos at its “Tequila de Mayo” event. If you’re looking for more laid-back fun, enjoy an evening of tequila tasting at Drinkhouse Fire & Ice Lounge. For something different, there’s also the “Cinco de Mike-O Comedy Show” at The Comedy Inn.
Credit Source & Credit: Miami New Time, Bucksfargo, Camac