6 places to check out in the area for Cinco de Mayo 

A popular misconception is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day, which is Sept. 16. However, Cinco de Mayo instead commemorates a single battle — the Battle of Puebla. The yearly celebration is held on May 5 and honors the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the Second French Empire 161 years ago. 

The holiday, however, has become more of a general celebration of Mexican-American culture. Celebrations began annually a year after the victory in California. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the day became widely recognized due to beer, wine and tequila advertising campaigns that spread in the U.S., according to National Geographic. The holiday is still celebrated in Mexico through battle reenactments and festivals.

Here is how a few Mexican restaurants and businesses will celebrate the holiday this year

Viva La Vida MexicanRestaurant

1140 E. Main St, Meriden.

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Frida Cano, owner of Viva La Vida, said the restaurant will offer $2 taco specials and free chips and salsa on all pickup orders. Along with that, they're also doing some giveaways throughout the week on the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Viva La Vida’s hours will be extended to 10 p.m.  For more information, call 203-440-4114.

Salsa’s Southwest Grill and Bar

2211 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Southington.

Salsa’s Southwest Grill and Bar owner León López  said the restaurant plans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo the same way they always have, with a full service bar and specials on drinks including flavored margaritas, mojitos and sangrías.

The patio will be open and decorated for the holiday and music will be played throughout the day. The restaurant will also have a tent with tables and chairs set up.  “One thing I've noticed is that every year it seems to be getting a bigger crowd,” López said. “But we’re doing nothing out of the ordinary, just a big celebration.” For more information, call 860-426-9888.

Vida Mexicana

1088 N. Colony St.,

Jazmin Facundo, a server at Vida Mexicana, said the restaurant will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a disc jockey playing music throughout the day.

Also, guests will have the option to eat and drink outside under a tent that will be set up.

The restaurant is also offering 50% off tequila shots and in the afternoon, there will be an electric bull to celebrate the holiday. “Guests can hop on and have fun with it,” Facundo said.

For more information, call 203-626-9671.

Paradise HillsVineyard & Winery

15 Windswept Hill Road, Wallingford.

Paradise Hills will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Mexican food truck, La Birriamania, on site from noon– 8 p.m.

A mariachi band will also play from 3-6 p.m. The winery will also serve wine throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m. For more information, call 203-284-0123. 

Tacos Mi Nacho

554 Broad St., Meriden. 

Tacos Mi Nacho owner Luis Lemus said the restaurant will celebrate Cinco de Mayo tomorrow with a live mariachi band from 6 to 9 p.m. 

Los Mariachis

105 N. Colony St.,

The team from the Spanish Community of Wallingford will be celebrity bartenders at Los Mariachis as part of The Great Give fundraiser after party starting at 3 p.m until midnight.

All the tips given to the celebrity bartenders will go to support the Spanish Community of Wallingford. 


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