Cinco de Mayo Events in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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 much the way St. Patrick’s Day is for the Irish or Chinese New Year for the Chinese. Check out these Cinco de Mayo events that celebrate Mexican culture with parades, folklórico dance, mariachis, and, of course, amazing food.

History of Cinco de Mayo

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 05
    The South Broadway Cultural Center
    AllenS/Wikimedia Commons

    When: May 5, 2018, noon to 4:30 p.m.
    Where: South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102

    The South Broadway Cultural Center will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with arts and crafts activities, music, and a dance performance by Ballet Folklórico Fiesta Mexicana. At 2:15 p.m., "Selena," a movie about the popular Tejano music singer, will be shown. This is a free event. 

  • 02 of 05

    When: May 5, 2018, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Where: La Parada Mercantile, 8917 4th St. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114

    Join more than 40 New Mexican arts and crafts vendors for this annual event presented by local artists Kenny Chavez and David Fisher. See jewelry, paintings, and recycled art. Musicians Alpha Blue and Mariachi Alma will perform. Activities include a creative serape contest, door prizes, brunch at Farm & Table, and hands-on arts and crafts. This is a free event. 

  • 03 of 05

    When: May 5, 2018, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Where: Mural Park, 7th and Douglas, Las Vegas, NM 87701  

    Casa de Cultura will hold its annual Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring mariachi bands, Aztec dancers, ballet folklórico, traditional costumes, and more. Bring lounge chairs and umbrellas. This is a free event. 

  • 04 of 05
    National Hispanic Cultural Center
    AllenS/Wikimedia Commons

    When: May 6, 2018, 2 p.m.
    Where: National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

    Enjoy this tribute to Mexican song and dance featuring award-winning New Mexican mariachi recording artist Antonio Reyna along with Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas, Reynaldo Maestas, and Baile Ilusión. This is a ticketed event.

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  • 05 of 05

    When: Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
    Where: National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

    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.