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Cinco de Mayo this year focuses on food and music with events at The Lariat, The Spot Event Center, and other restaurants throughout the county.

Santana Cover Band Santa Rios debuts at The Lariat in Buena Vista at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. Tickets cost $10 and are available on The Lariat’s website. According to the site, “Santa Rios authentically recreates tunes that span Santana’s amazing career featuring three percussionists, piano, organ, bass, and of course, Guitarlos!”

The band consists of Toby Dunn (the previously mentioned Guitarlos), Bones on timbales, George Mossman on congas, Aaron Handrich on organ and piano, Eric Tauer on bass, and Doug Glenn on the drums.

For a more food-focused option, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on May 5, you can attend the launch party for Gigi’s Betchin Chick-N. The event is in collaboration with The Slammer Saloon at 412 East Main Street in Buena Vista. Fried chicken and adult drinks will be available during their second location’s grand opening.

The dining area of La Herradura in Buena Vista. Image by Henry DeKam.

La Herradura, 708 US Highway 24 in Buena Vista, will feature an all-day happy hour to celebrate. They are family owned and operated with recipes originating from Puebla and Jalisco.

The Spot Event Center at 14770 US Highway 285 in Salida intends to extend the celebration across multiple days with their Cinco de Seis Fiesta from 5:00 p.m. on May 5 to 11:00 a.m. on May 6. Tickets are $10.

Cinco de Seis Fiesta will feature music, food, and activities for adults and kids. DJs VDUBBS and TheKonductoR will play Latin-infused house. The menu includes tacos, burritos, and guacamole from Taqueria Cinco de Mayo, who are native residents of Puebla, Mexico, according to The Spot’s website.

The History of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, or the Battle of Puebla Day, is an annual celebration of an unexpected victory over the French Empire in 1862. It is not a celebration of Mexican independence as is often assumed by people in the United States. In Mexico, the day primarily is celebrated by the state of Puebla. Mexico’s actual Independence Day occurs on September 16.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo celebrations began in California. Over time they grew into a popular holiday spanning the nation that honors Mexican culture and heritage.

From Happy Hour at La Herradura to Santa Rios’ debut show at The Lariat or The Spot’s two-day fiesta, there are plenty of options to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the valley this year. So, take your pick of the celebrations and venture out this Friday to honor Mexican culture with some community fun.