CINCINNATI — It’s not clear when Cinco de Mayo, the date an outmatched Spanish army beat the French in the Battle of Pueblo, became a popular holiday in the United States, but many people seize the opportunity to celebrate.
Here's a guide to local parties and events, including some before the actual holiday.
Buck's Badass Bash at Bakersfield OTR
Bakersfield OTR once again will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tacos, tequila, margaritas and music this Saturday on Vine Street. There also will be bourbon, face painters, circus acts, beer trucks and fried chicken sandwiches from the Eagle OTR as well. The day-long event benefits the Over-the-Rhine Community Housing group.
3-11 p.m. Saturday, April 30. Bakersfield OTR, 1213 Vine St. Free admission. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
Cinco de Mayo Hop-Up Dinner at MadTree Brewing
MadTree is so excited for Cinco de Mayo it decided to mark the occasion two days early. The craft brewery will be serving an empanada-inspired pierogi plate on May 3. For $12, order a chicken enchilada pierogi or from among three other pierogi varieties, chips and salsa verde from Jenn’s Hot Tamale. And yes, MadTree’s slate of beers also will be on tap.
3-6 p.m. Tuesday, May 3. MadTree Brewing, 5164 Kennedy Ave. $12 plates. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
Cinco de Mayo at Lachey's Bar
Lachey's is joining in the Cinco de Mayo festivities with day-long drink specials and a $6-for-five tacos deal. Drink specials include $8 house margaritas with Olmeca Altos Tequila, $9 elevated margaritas with Avion Silver and $8 tequila y cervezas, i.e. Corona with a shot of Olmeca Altos.
Starting at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 5. Lachey's Bar, 56 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
Cinco de Mayo at Redondo Taqueria
Would you expect anything less than a full-blown bash from Redondo Taqueria at Newport on the Levee? The eatery will offer $2 tequila shots, $3 Modelo Especial drafts and $5 Redondo margaritas on Cinco de Mayo. There also will be music, and three lucky people will win free tacos for a year.
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, May 5. Redondo Taqueria, Newport on the Levee. For more information visit www.redondolevee.com.
Cinco de Cinco de Cinco
This event is a community celebration hosted by the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation and Gomez Salsa. Enjoy the renovation of Five Points Alley with beer, live music, lights and tacos. The event also will welcome Gomez Salsa to the neighborhood; the Over-the-Rhine eatery is planning to add a location there. (For those who are confused by the name, the event celebrating Five Points starts at 5 p.m. on May 5.)
5 p.m.-midnight Thursday, May 5. Five Points Alley, Walnut Hills. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
Cinco de Nada
One of the most popular local Cinco de Mayo traditions returns to Nada on Thursday. “Everyday distortion” will take over Nada’s plaza with multiple bars, beer trucks and a taco stand. Rhinegeist, tequila and classic Mexican beers will flow as DJs spin from the rooftop. There also will be a photo booth to help remember the evening.
3 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursday, May 5. Nada, 600 Walnut St. Reservations available. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
Cinco de Mayo at Belterra Park
How about a day of horse racing and playing the slots with performances by the Menus, the Tropicoso salsa band and a roaming mariachi group to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? That is what Belterra Park plans to offer on Thursday. Drink specials will be available at the track and casino, too.
Starts at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5. Belterra Park, 6301 Kellogg Ave. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
Cinco de Heavy Metal at Backstage Cafe
OK, the Cinco de Mayo tie-in for this one is tenuous at best. See four heavy-metal bands, and enjoy Cinco de Mayo drink specials.
Starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5. Backstage Cafe, 724 Madison Ave., Covington. $5 in advance or $8 at the door. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
Cheviot 'Slow Ride' Cinco de Mayo 'Andale Arriba' Party
Bars, bicycles and tacos -- Cheviot’s “Slow Ride” Bicycle Group has the right idea. The group has invited everyone for a four-mile ride starting at Harvest Home Park and ending with a happy hour at Avocados Mexican Restaurant. The group recommends tricking your two wheels out with sombreros and decorations.
7-10 p.m. Thursday, May 5. Harvest Home Park, 3961 North Bend Road, Cheviot. Free. For more information visit the event page on Facebook.
Here is a legitimate celebration that showcases Latino culture, values and traditions. The 13th annual Cincy-Cinco on Fountain Square will have salsa bands Tropicoso and Orquesta Kandela performing throughout the weekend. Children will be able to play traditional games from Latin America for prizes, and La Mexicana, Pollo El Autentico, Antojitos Criollos and Panaderia Oaxaqueña will be on hand serving authentic cuisine. The festival also will host special events in honor of Mother’s Day.
Noon-11 p.m. May 7; noon-7 p.m. May 8. Fountain Square. Free. For more information visit www.cincy-cinco.com.