6 Top Places to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Albuquerque

Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Historic Old Mesilla

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Cinco de Mayo has become a popular holiday tradition in the United States for Mexican Americans and the general public much the way St. Patrick’s Day is for the Irish or Chinese New Year for the Chinese. Albuquerque Cinco de Mayo events celebrate Mexican culture with parades, folklórico dance, mariachis, and, of course, amazing food and drink.

Cinco de Mayo, or the Fifth of May, is a holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico as well as parts of the United States. The day is also known as the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla when Mexican forces won in the military battle against the French forces of Napolean III.

On May 5, 1862, the ragtag forces under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the French forces southeast of Mexico City. They won the battle, though French forces stayed in the area for the next five years. The Battle of Puebla became a symbol for the resistance against foreign rule. 

The day is celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla to this day. There are reenactments of the battle, parades, and speeches. Though the day is mainly celebrated in Puebla, the celebration came to the United States and is now celebrated in communities with a strong Mexican population. 

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day—that is on September 16. Mexican Independence Day was established in 1810.

  • 01 of 06

    Since opening its doors in 2000, the National Hispanic Cultural Center has provided visitors with a glimpse of the arts and cultures of Hispanics worldwide. The center is located along the Rio Grande in one of Albuquerque's oldest neighborhoods and features galleries, a library, a genealogy center, and gift shop. It holds more than 700 events each year.

    On May 4, 2019, the center will present Traditions! Folklorico Dance Spectacular featuring three New Mexico ensembles, including Santa Fe’s Ballet Folklórico de Santa Fe, Albuquerque’s Grupo Folklórico Desoluna, and Northern New Mexico’s Baile Ilusión, with musical accompaniment from Banda Neluayotl from Chihuahua, Mexico.

  • 02 of 06

    This is an evening fun run along a 5-kilometer course. Run, walk or jog in this healthy way to celebrate Mexican culture. Register online. Packet pick-up will be Friday, May 3, 2019, at Sports Systems on Montgomery Boulevard NE.

  • 03 of 06

    This is the 12th Annual Cinco de Mayo Folk Art Fest and is being held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019. There will be mariachi music, a DJ, fun events such as an umbrella decorating contest, and over 40 local artists and musicians. Mariachi Alma Nuevo Mexico will perform between 11 a.m. and 12 noon.

  • 04 of 06

    50Cinco de Mayo is headlined by big names in Latin hip hop including Baby Bash, Frankie J, Baeza, LSOB, The NB Ridaz, and the Godfather KID FROST. It all takes place at the Santa Ana Star Center at 3001 Civic Center Cir NE in Rio Rancho.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Look for shiny, classic lowriders at Club Rio, 10205 Central Ave NW, on May 5th, 2019. Catch Lil Troy, Down aka Killo, and Malo playing from 12 noon - 6 p.m. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and all ages are welcome. General admission is $15.

  • 06 of 06

    At this large Cinco De Mayo Event, you can enjoy New Mexico's own, Mirage - A Santana Experience, Latin Explosion, and Gonzalo performing on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at 06:00 p.m. The venue is El Nuevo Cananas Nightclub, 12935 Central Avenue, NE.  

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