5 events to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Dayton

Most everyone loves to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, though most of us have no idea what it actually commemorates. So, before we go getting all crazy with tequila shooters and diving into vats of chips, salsa and queso, let’s understand the story behind this American-adopted Mexican holiday.

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Cinco de Mayo is the observance of Mexico’s victory — despite being outnumbered two to one — over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. If you want to be a killjoy, you can mention that the French eventually came back with 30,000 troops and overtook Mexico City. 

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Now that we all sound smarter, here’s some of the best places and events to celebrate this year.


903 E. Dixie Dr., Dayton


>>MORE DETAILS: What’s better than one Cinco de Mayo celebration? El Meson says two

Guacamole and chips at El Meson restaurant on South Lamar in Austin, Texas on Thursday, August 11, 2011.
Photo: Thao Nguyen/Austin American-Statesman

El Meson upgraded their annual Cinco de Mayo bash to a two-day celebration. The event will include live music, street food, dancing and fun, with a charitable donation to Pink Ribbon Girls. We’ve put together all the details about the celebration, which you can read here.

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320 N. Dixie Drive, Vandalia


This fiesta is shaping up to be a mini Indie Rock fest in Dayton, with live music from 7 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. from A Voice Of Your Own, Seth Canan & The Carriers, The 1984 Draft, Crosley Court, Neo-American Pioneers and Yellow Paper Planes.

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8967 Kingsridge Drive, Dayton


Photo: American-Statesman Staff

Dance Cinco de Mayo away at Elegance in Dance’s Cinco de Mayo celebration on Friday, May 4. There will be plenty of hot salsa (not just the kind you eat) as well as merengue, bachata and more. Oh — and don’t forget the tacos and tequila. 

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7790 Service Center Dr. Unit B, West Chester Township


Grainworks Brewing Company plans to open Sept. 9 in West Chester Twp.
Photo: Staff Writer

Their Facebook event page says it all (in Spanish) la cerveza, musica, buena comida and festividades. Beer, music, food — what more could you want for Cinco de Mayo?

>> El Meson turns their annual Cinco de Mayo celebration into a two-day fiesta


The City of Cincinnati will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo all weekend long on Fountain Square with a family friendly event. Attractions will include a children’s area with arts and crafts, live music, raffles and authentic Latin cuisine. The three-day party is the largest Latin cultural celebration in the region. It all starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 5. Find more of the details, including music and food lineup, online.

Tell us about your Cinco de Mayo events. Send an email with all of the details to contact@dayton.com with the subject line: Cinco de Mayo event