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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living


Apr 26, 2018 11:00AM ● By Emily Miranda

Cinco De Mayo

May 2018
By Emily Miranda

THE VICTORY of indigenous Mexicans over the European invaders in the Battle of Puebla marks the origin of Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that gained popularity in the 1960s here in the States.  Today it has evolved into a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture, commemorated with festivals, parties and traditional Mexican food and dancing. 

If you plan to host your own Cinco de Mayo fiesta, it’ll take more than mariachi music to get the party started. Here are some tips for hosting the perfect celebration.

Food: For large gatherings and fantastic fiestas it’s best to serve food buffet style. Organize an appetizer table with chips, salsa, chicken empanadas and guacamole. For the main course set up a taco bar with your choice of carne asada, chicken, or pork along with condiment bowls of lettuce, tomatoes, onions and shredded cheese. Top off your tacos with cilantro and a squeeze of lime for an extra kick. Don’t forget a bowl of refried beans or Spanish rice for the side.

For a dessert table create a churro bar with mini churros, chocolate or caramel dipping sauce, and toppings such as mini chocolate chips and sprinkles for delight. Or have assortments of tasty treats like cacti decorated cupcakes, sombrero inspired cookies and white chocolate dipped strawberries tipped with green sprinkles in replica of the Mexican flag.

Drinks: It’s no fiesta without the drinks. It’d be a sin to forget the margaritas for such a celebration, but add some variety to the menu with Mexican Sunsets, or try a twist on a classic mojito by adding cream of coconut.  Put out a Margarita Bowl infused with slices of watermelon, orange, lemon and lime, or create a non-alcoholic punch bowl version for all ages to enjoy.  Another non-alcoholic beverage you won’t want to leave out is Horchata, a sweet traditional Mexican drink made from cinnamon, milk, sugar, vanilla and rice.

Fiesta: Along with a mariachi playlist, create the perfect Cinco de Mayo setting with colorful lighting, banners and pom-poms! Hang them over your makeshift dance floor, dining area and anywhere else you see fit. To spice it up, add hanging chili peppers to the mix. For centerpieces, plant succulents and cacti in colorful pots or tins, or use the rim of a sombrero as your planter.  Line each table with colorful crepe paper fringe; pick out a piñata, invite friends and family—and perfecto!  It’s time to celebrate.  •