Feel like adding a little Mexican independence to your Vegas vacation? Cinco de Mayo is fast upon us. If you don’t know the history of this holiday, don’t worry. In Sin City, everyone enjoys celebrating it.
Restaurants, bars and nightclubs have been gearing up to host fiestas and other events that combine cultural traditions with fantastic food, cheap drinks and fun entertainment. This year, since Cinco de Mayo falls on a Monday, many of them will be kicking off weekend-long festivities tonight. Below we’ve compiled a list of cool things to do.
And…for those who are curious…Cinco de Mayo means the “fifth of May.” It honors the bravery of Mexican soldiers who defeated the invading French forces of Napoleon in the 1862 Battle of Pueblo.
1.) Enjoy beer and babes.
Cinco de Mayo revelry will run from May 3 – 5 at Hussong’s Cantina inside The Shoppes at Mandalay Place during its “Dos de Mayo Celebration” with the Dos Equis beer brand. The restaurant’s beloved Rock ’n’ Roll Mariachi Band will take requests and perform mash-ups of classic rock hits and Latin serenades. The sexy Dos Equis girls will also be on hand to get the party going. There will be beer specials such as the 48-ounce Most Interesting Man souvenir pilsner for $20. Plus, guests who buy a Dos Equis beer tower can take home a life-size Most Interesting Man cardboard cutout.
2.) Meet the star of “The Bachelor.”
Chateau Nightclub at Paris Las Vegas is celebrating Cinco De Mayo on May 2 with “Juan Pablo’s Bachelorette Blowout.” Come and greet handsome Juan Pablo Galavis, the first Latino star of ABC’s “The Bachelor” series. This Latin lover may still be on the market because he didn’t propose during the final rose ceremony. Galavis will walk the red carpet and hit the club at midnight. All women in attendance will receive free champagne.
3.) Get loco with Mario Lopez.
On May 3 at Hyde Bellagio, Mario Lopez will be hosting a Cinco de Mayo bash that begins at 10 p.m. Lopez is known for his TV gigs on “Extra” and the “X Factor.” He also has a nationally syndicated radio show called “On with Mario.” Spend a fun night partying with him while partaking in bottle service delivered by sexy senoritas. If you arrive earlier in the evening, at 5 p.m., you can watch the epic boxing battle between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Marcos “El Chino” Maidana, which will be broadcast live on Hyde Bellagio’s giant 20-foot-by-10-foot HD screen. General admission to the viewing party costs $75.
4.) Feast and fight.
At Luxor, the contemporary Mexican restaurant T&T (Tacos & Tequila) has four days of fun planned from May 2 – 5. Take advantage of a $5 menu offered daily from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. featuring nachos, habañero wings, chicken quesadillas, beef or poblano flautas, guacamole, house red or white wine, well drinks and sangria. Buckets of Sol beer will be priced at $18. In the evenings, from 7 – 11 p.m., enjoy $5 Dos Equis beers and Jose Cuervo shots.
On May 3 – 4, the restaurant’s Mariachi Brunch will be served from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. It boasts two-for-one T&T Top Shelf Margaritas and Bloody Marias, along with breakfast specialties including chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, machaca breakfast burritos and more.
On May 5, T&T is holding its “Sexy de Mayo” fiesta. A mariachi band will perform from 3:45 – 6:45 p.m., with DJ Larry Lynx taking over from 6:45 – 11 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Cock-A-Doodle Duels will begin. Basically, two opponents put on rooster feet and masks as well as strap balloons to their ankles – then they try to stomp out each other’s balloons. There will be several rounds of duels, culminating in a final “Dos Amigos Death Match” for a grand prize of $1,000. The “Sexy de Mayo” fiesta will also feature a special appearance by Jessica Burciaga, a former Playmate of the Month who has been in several episodes of the reality TV series “The Girls Next Door.”
5.) Rock out.
Cabo Wabo Cantina, located in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, is throwing its “Tres, Cuatro, Cinco: Let’s Drinko!” party from May 2 – 5. Owned by Sammy Hagar, this hard-rockin’ joint will feature live music as well as lots of drink deals. For example, La Bandera, a 24-ounce daiquiri that looks like the Mexican flag with red, white and green flavors, costs only $19. You can also get Dos Equis beer buckets for $21 and shots of Fireball whisky for $5.
6.) Laugh it up.
Go to the L.A. Comedy Club in Bally’s, where you can watch a special Spanish-language show – “Risa y Mas Risa” – on May 5. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, the Spanish-speaking lineup features four comedians: Eduardo Talavera, Richard Villa, Sam Butler and Fran Hevia.
7.) Feel the beat.
At Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar in The Linq, you can attend a weekend-long “Cinco de Chayo” celebration. Listen to high-energy beats from live DJs all day and night, and take a spin on the mechanical bull. Among the drink specials are margaritas and bottles of Corona for $5. You can buy a Corona and a shot for $8. If you get hungry, indulge in guacamole topped with pomegranate seeds and served with either pork rinds or tortilla chips, pork sopes made with chorizo and queso fresco, and authentic Mexican street tacos for $9 – $16. The fun culminates on May 5 with a Cinco de Mayo bash thrown by the FM radio station 98.5 KLUC.
8.) Drink, drink, drink!
Interested in knocking back cheap beer and tequila shots on May 5? In downtown Las Vegas, you’ll find a couple of great deals on celebratory booze. Commonwealth on the corner of Fremont and Sixth streets is offering $5 Dos Equis drafts and $5 Cazadores shots. Similarly, across the road at the Park on Fremont, you can take advantage of $3 Dos Equis drafts and $5 Cazadores shots.
9.) Eat, eat, eat!
On May 5, and every Wednesday in May thereafter, Silver Sevens will serve the “Cinco de Mayo Buffet” from 4 – 9 p.m. It costs $13.99 (or $10.99 with an A-Play Club card, which is free and easy to sign up for). Among the items you can choose from are chicken and beef fajitas, pork tamales, carnitas, chile rellenos and beef chimichangas. There will also be smoked beef brisket and roasted turkey at the carving stations as well as a nachos and taco bar. Desserts will include fruit empanadas, Mexican breads, churros and flan.
10.) Get boozy at a dive bar.
The ultra dive bar Rockhouse, located in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian | The Palazzo, is prepared to throw the “ultimate” fiesta on May 5 with a mariachi band raring to play. In addition, on Cinco de Mayo and all weekend long, you can enjoy $5 margaritas and $1.50 tacos (try the chorizo and mozzarella combination). A Dos Equis beer and a shot of Jose Cuervo tequila costs $10. The bar’s mechanical bull will also be ready and “rearing” to go for those who want a ride. And if you really want to make the most of your Rockhouse visit, you can purchase all-day open bar access for only $50.
11.) Party on a patio.
Rhumbar at The Mirage is transforming its Caribbean patio – which overlooks the Strip – into a fiesta-like atmosphere throughout Cinco de Mayo weekend. The stylish bar is also unveiling a new cocktail called the Piña Picante. Priced at $14, it’s made with Milagro Reposado Select Barrel tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, fresh cilantro, jalapeño, pineapple juice, agave nectar and lime. Cinco de Mayo drink specials include $5 Dos Equis bottles, $8 Milagro margaritas and $12 Spicy Lover cocktails. Rhumbar’s Milagro tequila flight featuring Silver, Reposado and Anejo will also be served for only $25.
12.) Take a swing at a piñata.
Whether you’re looking for an adult-oriented or family-friendly celebration, head to Cantina Laredo, located at Tivoli Village in northwest Las Vegas. From May 2 – 5, the modern Mexican restaurant will be hosting indoor/outdoor parties with drink specials that include top-shelf ‘Ritas (made with Avion Tequila) for $6, house ‘Ritas for $4 and draft beers for $2. Two special margaritas – the Cinco Mas ‘Rita and Pop-a-Rita – will also be served for this weekend only. On May 3 from 6 p.m. - midnight, adults should swing by Cantina Laredo for a night with DJs, dance contests, raffles and a chance to break a piñata. Then on May 4 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., guests of all ages can take part in a festival filled with music, salsa dancing, pony rides, balloon artists, face painting and games as well as more raffles and piñatas.
One more bonus idea: If you’re looking for a great margarita during Cinco de Mayo weekend, or any weekend you’re in Vegas, stop by Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at the Flamingo. The drinks menu features more than 10 specialty margaritas, including the popular Livin’ It Up, which is perfect for any occasion. Served on the rocks, it’s made with Sauza Tres Generaciones Añejo Tequila, Grand Marnier and the restaurant’s own agave margarita mix. You can even get it to go in one of Margaritaville’s 45-ounce signature Booze in the Blender cups.