Planning the Perfect Cinco de Mayo Bash

May 5, 2011 at 12:01 p.m. ET

In history, Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for the "fifth of May") is a holiday that commemorates the Mexican army's unexpected victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Today in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican culture that often centers itself around food and beverage. Even if you have no roots in Mexican culture, Cinco de Mayo celebrations are a great excuse to party, feast on Mexican food and celebrate national pride.

Cinco de Mayo


If you're planning to send paper invitations, opt for something festive like chili-pepper invites from Madi & Company. Alternatively, you can pick an unconventional invitation method and decorate the maracas with glitter glue pens or paints. Keep the wording short to fit on the maracas - or just decorate the maraca in fiesta style and colors and write the party details on a slip of paper which can be stuck around the handle of the maraca


Every good Mexican fiesta begins with tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole. It's easy to make in your own kitchen and you can even involve some of your friends in the preparation. If you want to lessen the workload so you can enjoy the party yourself, set up a taco bar, with soft and hard taco shells and a buffet of fillings, such as seasoned chicken or meat, vegetables, shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, cheese and guacamole. Don't forget dessert! Flan or batch of lime bars is cake is the perfect way to finish off a Mexican inspired meal.


Margaritas are the perfect way to wash down Mexican cuisine. Keep it simple and combine 1 ounce of fresh lime juice, 3/4 ounce of pure organic agave nectar, 3/4 ounce spring water and 1 1/2 ounces of tequila, such as Partida Tequila Blanco, Anejo or Repasado. Keep plenty of Corona and Dos Equis on hand for beer drinkers.


While it can certainly be fun to play classical Mexican tunes, any type of upbeat music suitable for dancing will work for your Cinco de Mayo bash. Mexican music is very diverse and features a wide range of musical styles influenced by a variety of cultures. Folk music is always lively, entertaining and is enjoyed in numerous parts of Mexico.