Throw a Cinco de Mayo Party

Steve Kroeger / Getty Images

Cinco de Mayo is a perfect occasion to throw a fiesta with Mexican food, music, and decorations. Although this is not Mexican Independence Day (which is another great time to throw a Mexican party), it is a time when people like to get together to celebrate Mexican culture. It is perhaps surprising that the holiday is not celebrated to any great extent in Mexico, but in general, Mexicans are happy for any occasion to throw a party, so it's a great occasion to celebrate. If you can't spend Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, the next best thing is to throw a party celebrating all things Mexican. Here you'll find all the resources you need for planning your Mexican fiesta!


Set the right mood for your Cinco de Mayo party before it even starts by sending out Mexican-themed party invitations. If you're feeling crafty you can design your own handmade invitations.


The colors of the Mexican flag (red, white and green), are good choices for your decorations. If you have Mexican handicrafts or papel picado on hand, these will add a nice touch to your decor, or you might want to think about stringing up some chili pepper lights to add a festive touch to your party.


Tequila and mezcal are some Mexican drinks that you may want to have on hand for your party. Mexican beers are also very popular. There may be some other Mexican drinks that you haven't considered, such as Mexican wine, or mixed drinks such as margaritas or palomas, and it's always a good idea to have some aguas frescas (refreshing fruit drinks) for children or other guests who don't imbibe.

Mexican Food:

Some favorite appetizers for a Cinco de Mayo party include jalapeño poppers, and nachos with guacamole and salsa. Another crowd-pleaser is a station where guests can build their own tostadas. Have refried beans, meat, diced vegetables such as tomato, onion, and some shredded lettuce available, along with grated cheese and an assortment of salsas, and your guests can have fun preparing their tostadas just how they like them - an added advantage is that if any of your guests has a dietary restriction, they can leave whatever foods they can't eat off of their tostada. For dessert, consider some gelatin - you can make some with the colors of the Mexican flag, or flan, which a surprisingly popular Mexican dessert.

Party Music:

Playing some mariachi music or other Mexican popular music will help set the tone of your fiesta. You can take the work out of selecting Mexican music by purchasing one of these CDs: Cinco de Mayo Party Music or Mexico's Greatest Hits.

Fun and Games:

No Mexican fiesta is complete without a piñata. You can purchase one online or you may prefer to make one yourself, which can be a fun craft to undertake, just be sure to leave yourself plenty of time. If there will be kids at your party, you can print out some activities to keep them busy, such as this word search, or find some Mexican-themed puzzles they can do. The adults might get in on the fun too.

Have fun, and happy Cinco de Mayo!

Was this page helpful?