Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not just another excuse to party! The holiday dates back to a battle between Mexican and French forces on May 5, 1862, when the Battle of Puebla took place.
Observed throughout the United States and in various other places across the globe, Cinco de Mayo traditionally involves music, food, dancing and general celebration. The parades, festivals, parties, and activities celebrate Mexican heritage.
Nonetheless, Cinco de Mayo is a favorite holiday for socializing and drinking, in addition to celebration in general. Many people all across the world celebrate this holiday, much in the same way as St. Patrick’s Day. The day finds favor with young and old and everyone in between. If you are thinking about having a Cinco de Mayo party, make sure you have a little bit of time to consider your options so you can have a fun and engaging party. Here are some ideas to help you get your party off the ground.
Food for Cinco de Mayo
When it comes down to the key components of just about any type of party, the food on the menu is an extremely important factor. As you prepare for your Cinco de Mayo party, make sure you plan out your menu for appetizers and snacks, main courses, side dishes, and desserts. If you guests are accustomed to American cuisine, you may wish to include a few items on the menu that do not classify as authentic Mexican food.
Some popular dishes for Cinco de Mayo parties include:
– Chicken and cheese quesadillas
– Rice and beans
– Salsa and chips
– Make-your-own tacos
– Cheesy nachos
– Bean dip
– Chicken, beef, or shrimp fajitas
Recipe: Smoky Chicken, Bacon, and Cheese Quesadilllas:
1 package (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Cooked chicken, cut into small, thin pieces
1. Place one tortilla flat inside a large frying pan on low-medium heat.
2. Sprinkle cheese over tortilla.
3. Sprinkle bacon pieces or bacon bits over cheese.
4. Sprinkle pieces of chicken across the top.
5. Add a little more cheese.
6. When cheese begins to melt, place a second tortilla on top.
7. Flip carefully and continue heating another minute or two, until browned lightly and crisp.
8. Remove from the pan and slice into triangles to share.
Drinks for Cinco de Mayo
Now that you’ve got the food side of the party covered, you’re going to want to plan a nice selection of tasty libations for your guests. The options are many, so put some thought into the type of bar you will set up. If you’ll be serving alcohol, consider the favorites, margaritas and Coronas! But don’t stop there. Will you be using a blender? Do you have enough margarita glasses for your guests? Do you have rimming salt and a dish for it?
Don’t forget to stock up on delightful beverages and ingredients:
– Margaritas – regular and strawberry! (Decide if you’ll offer frozen or just chilled.)
– Corona beer with lime
Want a different drink from the typical Coronas and margaritas? How about a Miami Vice? I learned about this drink in the Bahamas, but it is too yummy to ignore for any party!
Miami Vice Frozen Drink:
Pina Colada mix
Strawberry Daquiri mix
1. Make one pitcher of frozen pina colada with Bacardi rum.
2. Make one pitcher of frozen strawberry daquiri with Bacardi rum.
3. Immediately pour half a glass of pina colada mix into one glass and top off with half a glass of strawberry daquiri.
4. Add a straw and serve! Enjoy!
Make sure you stock your freezer and coolers with plenty of ice, especially if you plan to break out the blender!
Games and Fun for Cinco de Mayo
Kids of all ages can enjoy some fun and festive party games and activities on Cinco de Mayo. Depending on your budget, you can keep things small scale or go hog wild. The party will surely be enjoyable based on the people who attend, but it’s always nice to have a few games, activities, or ice breakers just in case things aren’t going exactly as planned.
Consider these games and activities for your Cinco de Mayo party:
– Get a piñata! Nothing says “Happy Cinco de Mayo” better than smacking around a crepe papered donkey filled with candy, gum, and small toys, and trinkets with a baseball bat.
– Have a Mexican Hat Dance. If you get enough adults to partake in the beverages, you might just have an amusing sight to see when it comes to this activity.
– Put together party favors for your guests. Fill goodie bags with candies, small bottles of tequila, or other novelties.
– Give all your guests sombreros, Mexican hats, or wide-brimmed straw hats. Decorate the hats ahead of time if you wish. This can be a fun party favor and an instant conversation piece.
– Look into hiring a live band. If it’s not within the budget, get a bunch of CDs with great party music and set them up to play on your stereo.
– Set up a relay race. Give the competitors something specific to do besides running back and forth. Make it challenging and award a prize to the winning team.
No matter what you do to plan your Cinco de Mayo party, remember that it’s good company that makes the party a success. Invite your closest friends, family, neighbors, and loved ones for the most enjoyable party in town!