Did last month’s visit from Vincente Fox, the hilariously outspoken anti-Trump former president of Mexico, inspire you to celebrate our neighbors to the south this Cinco de Mayo? It should have. It's a holiday where anything goes. Miami has some excellent options for partying with dignity — until you drink too many margaritas and slap on a sombrero.
Just for reference, May 5 isn’t Mexican Independence Day; that’s September 16. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the underdog victory of Mexicans over the French in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. Get your knowledge on point and politics in order before you toast to your Mexican pals this Saturday at these fiestas excelentes.
1. Cinco de Wynwood at Mana Wynwood. If laughing about "The Wall" in a safe environment interests you, head to Cinco de Wynwood at Mana. In the shadow of street art, this party is guaranteed to be a massive fiesta for Miami’s cool folx. It’s sponsored by Dos Equis and Avión tequila and will offer primo food trucks, crafty vendors with hip DIY and fashionable fare, and, the cherry on top, a rad piñata drop. Noon Saturday, May 5, at Mana Wynwood, 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; cincodewynwood.com. Admission is free.
2. Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at CityPlace Doral. Mariachi music makes you feel so many things — sadness and passion among them — whether or not you understand the words. The City of Doral will celebrate its Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at CityPlace with the live tunes of Mariachi Estrellas de México. Grown people with tears in their eyes will dance the night away. The party will include beats by DJ Xtreme from Tu 94.9, giveaways, backyard games, hourly fountain light shows, and a live mural painting by illSurge. Most important, restaurants will offer food and drink specials. 5 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at CityPlace Doral, 8300 NW 36th St., Doral; cityplacedoral.com. Admission is free.
3. Las Rosas' Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Extravaganza. There’s nothing not to love about a dive bar that looks like it has been around for 50 years but just popped up last year. Located on the edge of Wynwood and Allapattah, Las Rosas is a hip joint that’ll feature live, local acts on Cinco de Mayo along with a BYO sombrero raffle and best mustache competition. Headlining the night will be the indie trio Left-Handed Jacket, which will celebrate its single release. Other bands on the bill are Firstworld, SunGhosts, Bed Scene, and Abuelobos. A DJ set by Kaixen will have you poppin’ off like jumping beans. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 786-780-2700; facebook.com/lasrosasmiami. Admission is free.
4. Destination Friday Cinco de Mayo. Have you heard of the African-American Research Library & Cultural Center in Lauderdale Lakes? The 60,000-square-foot facility has an auditorium, conference rooms, and exhibition areas. It’ll host its own Cinco de Mayo party a day early with Destination Friday. There will be real Mexican cuisine, margaritas to quench your thirst, live music and performances, and a travelogue. Also, two lucky party animals can win a three-day hotel stay anywhere in the United States, Canada, or the Caribbean. The event is 21-and-over because of the tequila. So leave the kids at home and hit up this authentic affair that’ll prep you for the weekend. 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the African-American Research Library & Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Lauderdale Lakes; 954-357-6282; broward.org. Tickets cost $10 via eventbrite.com.
5. Terrestrial Funk Cinco de Mayo. Straight up, this Cinco de Mayo party at Floyd sounds like a cool place to get some chill party vibes going. Expect plenty of funk and three hours of Nigerian Afrobeat and boogie spun by Dylan McArthur. Terrestrial Funk's Brother Dan and More or Less' Deejay Ray are also on the bill. The craft cocktails and classy decor of this 11th Street hot spot will keep you comfortably safe from the sombreros lining the streets of downtown. 10 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Floyd Miami, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 786-618-9447; floydmiami.com. Tickets cost $10 to $20 via ticketfly.com.
6. Cinco de Mayo at Shots. If tequila is your reason for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, be sure to head to Shots in Wynwood. Each brand will battle it out for your taste buds. Expect specials such as $4 Tecate, $5 Dos Equis, $5 Don Julio, and $5 Patrón. It's also the starting point for a pub crawl through the arts district that will be culturally insensitive but a great way for you to hook up. There will be mariachi musicians and Mexican dancers, so if you must wear your fake mustache, at least cry about the plight of the Dreamers while you do it. 3 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Shots Miami, 311 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-571-0439; shotsbar.com. Admission is free.
7. Festival Cinco de Mayo. If you want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some cultural integrity, check out Miramar Regional Park’s Saturday-night concert featuring Paquita la del Barrio, Carolina La O, and KerreKe. Paquita la del Barrio is a Grammy-nominated ranchera singer from Mexico. She's also a campy feminist who sings songs that rock the Mexican machismo culture. Also expect Colombian salsa, onetime child singer Carolina La O, and folk-fusion group KerreKe, which will bring original folk songs to life with a harp and electric guitar. Stay authentic this year and head to Miramar. 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Miramar Regional Park, 16801 Miramar Pkwy., Miramar; 954-883-6950; miramarfl.gov. Tickets cost $29 to $119 via ticketmaster.com.
8. Cinco de Mayo With Elephante. If you want to go hard and late into the night, hit up E11even Miami's Cinco de Mayo blowout with Elephante. You might or might not know the Los Angeles-based progressive-house DJ who was born Tim Wu, but you probably have sweated away an evening listening to his remix of Lorde or Clean Bandit. Though he's young and new to the game, he's worked with the biggest names in the EDM business. Enjoy the grand vibes at the club and the cheap drink specials — $3 Coronas and $3 Avión tequila shots until midnight. The party is 21-and-over, and, dudes, leave your bro gear at home: No flip-flops or baseball caps allowed. 10 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at E11even Miami, 23 NE 11 St., Miami; 11miami.com. Tickets cost $20 via tixr.com.
9. Cinco de Mayo Sunset Kayak Adventure. Sure, kayaking has nada to do with Mexican-American culture, but you can meditate on the great Tezcatlipoca while you enjoy the Blue Moon Crew’s Cinco de Mayo Sunset Kayak Adventure. Worship the ancient Aztec god of the nocturnal sky at this beach and bay party in Fort Lauderdale. You can use your own boat or rent one there. Even if you’re not celebrating the holiday, floating on the water at sunset is a perfect way to spend a May evening in South Florida. 6 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at George English Park, 1101 Bayview Dr., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25 to $100 via eventbrite.com.
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10. Cinco de Mayo Brickell Fiesta 2018. The eighth-annual Cinco de Mayo Brickell Fiesta will launch at American Social, where you can pour your own beer at your own table fitted with taps. There will likely be 8,000 people celebrating at this block party/pub crawl on the bay. The jams will be strong with DJs on the main stage and plenty of eye candy for those with a sweet tooth. You can buy a fiesta party pack for extra booze and keep the margarita souvenir cup for future boozin’. Expect a nasty, preppy party you won’t soon forget. 11 a.m. Saturday, May 5, at the Brickell Waterfront, 609 Brickell Ave., Miami; cincodemayobrickell.com. Tickets cost $15 to $65 via eventbrite.com.
11. Sombreros on the River Cinco de Mayo Celebration. There's nothing cooler than a piñata at a party. The Wharf knows this and is hosting Miami’s biggest 21-and-over piñata party at Sombreros on the River. Featuring Don Julio tequila and music by Hushmoney, the event will offer an amazing food selection. Pick up chow from Garcia’s Open-Air Fish Market & Raw Bar, King of Racks BBQ, and the most delicious Mojo Donuts. FYI, there is a dress code, so get in your grown-up gear — no board shorts and Tevas. Feel free to bring your kids and leashed dogs before 6 p.m. Noon Saturday, May 5, at the Wharf Miami, 114 SW North River Dr., Miami; wharfmiami.com. Admission is free.