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Cinco de Mayo is the Fifth of May and is a Mexican national Holiday which celebrates the Mexican Victory over the French at Puebla in 1862.  Cinco de Mayo is a time for celebration and fiestas throughout Mexico and throughout much of the United States. Cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and Colorado have Cinco de Mayo Festivals.  For those of us who do not live near where these festivities are planned or who like to celebrate at home, Cinco de Mayo is a great time to have your own party, whether it be for family, friends or your children.  Your party can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like to make it.  Sometimes though, simple can be best.  When one tries to be elaborate, many complications can get in the way, so the following paragraphs will be a guide to a simple Cinco de Mayo Celebration at home either in your house or backyard.

Let’sstart with the decorations.  The first thing you would want to buy would be the center piece of your party and that is a Pinanta.  A pinata is made from paper maiche and comes in many different shapes and is usually filled with candy and other treats.   The Mexican Flag is Red, White and Green and much of the Paper Goods  that are made for Cinco de Mayo will be made in those colors but there will also be additional varieties that are very colorful.  You can keep it simple and purchase solid shades so that leftovers can be used for other parties or you can go all out and buy paper goods that are made specifically for this event. Following is a list of paper goods and other items that you may wish to purchase for a Cinco de Mayo party:

  • Tablecloths & Napkins
  • Paper or Plastic Plates and Cups
  • Cutlery to Match
  • Streamers
    (these can be made from crepe paper)
  • Mexican
    Flag (small paper ones for favors or party bags)
  • A piñata ]to fill with goodies and for the children to break
  • A Punch Bowl

The next item to think about would be the food you serve.  A great way to serve food for a large crowd is to have a ‘build your own taco bar’ Purchase or prepare the meat fillings and set them out in warmers or chafing dishes for guests to help themselves.  You would also need a variety of condiments.  Listed below are suggested fillings for Tacos and Condiments to go along with them.

  • Carne Asada (Beef)
  • Tomato Salsa
  • Carnitas (Pork)
  • Guacamole
  • Chicken
  • Shredded Cabbage or Lettuce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Diced Tomatoes

Additional Items

Crema (Mexican version of Creme Fraiche)

Tortilla Chips

Grilled Scallions (Green Onions)

Sliced Olives


Cilantro Leaves

Of course you are going to need tortillas for your tacos.  Authentic tacos are made with soft shells which you can just steam, microwave or heat up on a hot grill or over a gas flame.  If you like crispy shells (best made with corn tortillas) you can do them ahead of time or purchase them already made.

Most of the meat items and condiments can be made or prepared ahead of time.  If making the meat items ahead of time, undercook them slightly so that when you reheat them they won’t get overcooked.  Shredded Cabbage keeps better than shredded lettuce and is actually more authentic than lettuce.  Salsa keeps well for many days, but guacamole is best made right before serving as the avocado has a tendency to darken. Non Alcoholic Beverages such as Virgin Strawberry Margaritas or  horchata can be served.

Other Menu Items which you may wish to have are:

  • Fruit Salad
  • Rice & Beans
  • Enchiladas
  • Taquitos
  • Burritos

Watch our website (Recipe Section) for Mexican Recipes you may wish to try.




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