Cinco de Mayo is a truly Mexican-American holiday, celebrating not the history behind the holiday — the humble Mexican defeat of a well-equipped French invasion in the town of Puebla — but rather the spirit and pride of the victorious underdog. Interestingly, it’s really not a big holiday in Mexico, while north of the border it’s widely celebrated as an excuse to drink terrible margaritas.
If you’re looking for an excuse to legit connect with Mexican culture, food, and communities though, there are proper Cinco de Mayo festivals happening near just about every major Mexican-American community in the country. Here are five of the biggest and best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo the right way this year:
Friday Through Sunday
The first annual Chicago’s Cinco De Mayo festival at the Lake County Fairgrounds is a multicultural celebration of Latinx identity. “The festival will integrate Mexican and Central and South American culture and tradition with the American people,” one of the organizers explained to the Chicago Tribune. The event will feature food, music, and handmade wares representing a broad swath of Latin America, and will also feature dance, performance, DJs, reggaeton, Lucha Libre, and carnival rides. Tickets range from $5-10 for entry.