Party Ideas

Quick Ideas for Your Cinco de Mayo Party

By Megan Price

May is right around the corner, and that means fiesta time! Before summer really takes over, bringing high temperatures and higher humidity, it’s time to enjoy a party outside. There’s no holiday that’s better for a backyard get-together than Cinco de Mayo! Check out these Cinco de Mayo party ideas and get to planning.

The history of Cinco de Mayo

Many people believe that Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexican Independence Day. Those many people are wrong. Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th, but El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla (in English, The Day of the Battle of Puebla) is celebrated on the fifth of May.

The quick(ish) history lesson is that on May 5th of 1862, the poorly-equipped Mexican army (numbering only 4,000) succeeded in crushing the larger and much stronger French army in Puebla. But this was much more than just a victory for the Mexican army.

The French army planned to move north after defeating the Mexican army in order to join the Rebel army of the South fighting in the Civil War. Had they not been defeated in Puebla, the outcome of our own Civil War might have been drastically different.

But enough with the history lesson — we’ve got a party to plan!

Taco ’bout your party

Make sure that everyone knows the details of your Cinco de Mayo party. It’s going to be the biggest get-together of the year, right? Spread the word by sending out some festive invites! Use our free printable invitations below to save yourself a step.

Hopefully, everyone will already know what day you are having the party (unless they decided to celebrate a little early with the cervezas), but they’ll still need to know where it’s at, what to bring (mas tequila!), what to wear (we recommend formal dress: a tuxedo and a sombrero), and when to arrive for the big piñata swing!

Printable Cinco de Mayo invitations
Click here to print!

Fiesta ’til you siesta

Despite the marketing hype, your Cinco de Mayo party has a lot more potential than just a bunch of adult beverages. Cover your venue in brightly colored party decorations, set up a buffet of authentic Mexican foods, and, of course, add some festive music and games.

Make your party a hit

A staple of any Mexican fiesta is a piñata. You can buy Cinco de Mayo party supplies from a local party supply store or break out that tissue paper and make your own. Fill it with an assortment of candy or party favors, ready the blindfolds, and let your guests swing away! While you’re at it, use crepe paper to make traditional papel picado and hang it as decorations for your party.

Have a hola-ta fun

When kids are in attendance, and especially when the piñata has been smashed and the candy spilled, it can be helpful to have more entertainment on hand. You can’t go wrong with a face painter, magician, or photo booth. If your location permits, you could also have a traveling zoo or bounce house.

Girl with face paint
Hire face painters like Right Designs on GigSalad!

Bring in the band

Adults and children alike love music! Whether you’re hosting a large dance party or just want lively background tunes, you can find musical entertainment that everyone will love!

Sound the horns

Nothing makes a Cinco de Mayo party quite like hiring a mariachi band to perform for your guests. Even if you can’t find a traditional mariachi band in your area, there are other options, including bolero bands, Latin bands, merengue bands, or salsa groups.

Hire a mariachi band for your Cinco de Mayo party
Find a mariachi band near you on GigSalad!

Get your groove on

If you’re going all-out for your Cinco de Mayo party, you may even want to hire a Latin dance group or salsa dancer to get the dance party started, or maybe even a traveling bullfighting show! Okay, maybe the bullfighting would be a little too much…

Spice things up

What about food and drinks for your guests? You’ve got plenty of options, from grilling tacos outside to setting up a build-your-own taco bar. Or you can take the hands-off approach and call in the caterers!

Salsa-tisfy your taste buds

Whether you do it all yourself or leave it up to the pros, don’t forget to have a variety of tortilla chips and salsa. Throw in some more dips for added variety. Guacamole is always a guaranteed hit. Or, get creative with some pineapple salsa. Include some black bean salsa for a classic touch!

Get into the spirit(s)

You can’t have a list of Cinco de Mayo party ideas without the margaritas! If you’re tired of the old lime or strawberry margaritas, try a coconut margarita. If you want to stay on the tequila train but mix up your cocktail menu, try a tequila sunrise or ranch water cocktail.

But of course, if you’re not quite daring enough to mix your own Cinco de Mayo creations (or simply more interested in the drinking than the making), you can always hire a bartender to get the job done for you.

🚩 Get festive and dress up your drinks with our free printable Cinco de Mayo drink flags!

Printable drink flags for Cinco de Mayo
Click here to print!

Whether you’re planning something small for friends and family or hosting a huge fiesta for your whole neighborhood, these Cinco de Mayo party ideas will help you get the party started. 💃

Ready to book something awesome for your Cinco de Mayo party? Find the best entertainers and service providers on GigSalad.

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