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Top 'Cinco' for Cinco de Mayo

Throw on that colorful sombrero and whip up a batch of fresh guacamole because Patch picks five things you can do locally to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo (or the fifth of May) is not Mexico's independence day — that actually falls on Sept. 16.

Nor is it an American drinking holiday created by the alcohol industry, despite the thousands of bottles of tequila and margarita mix sold and consumed. 

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. 

Until now, the only area in Mexico that really celebrates Cinco de Mayo is the state of Puebla.

However, the holiday is widely celebrated throughout the U.S. to honor Mexican heritage and pride. 

Cities and towns across the nation mark the Mexican victory with festivities that often include dancing, crafts and plenty of food.

One of the most popular food consumed during the big day: Guacamole. The California Avocado Commission predicts that over 70 million pounds of avocados will be eaten during this year's Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

So whether you're looking to sip on a frozen margarita or dance to the melodies of a mariachi band, San Ramon Patch has you covered on ways to celebrate locally for this year's Cinco de Mayo.

MAY 2

1. 

What: Dress up in festive garb and enjoy a lunch that includes chicken or beef enchiladas, Spanish rice and refried beans. Socialize with your friends as you listen to great music and admire colorful decorations. Act fast because tickets tend to sell out quickly.

Where: 17800 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

Time: The event begins at noon.

Cost: $5.50 in advance (just stop by the center Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., to order), $7 at the door

MAY 4

2. First Wednesday Street  Party: Cinco de Mayo

What: Pleasanton's Downtown Association will hold a street fair featuring live music, food, vendors and other entertainment in honor of the holiday.

Where: Main Street in Pleasanton

Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday

Cost: Free

MAY 5

3. 

What: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with this local Mexican restaurant staple for the 32nd year in a row. Dine on traditional Mexican dishes for as low as $9 a plate or sip $6 drink specials ranging from draft beer to margaritas. The deal is good all day, but don't miss out on the mariachi band from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. where you can sing along or dance to toe-tapping tunes like "El Viajero" and "Paloma Blanca."

Where: 3430 Village Dr., Castro Valley

Time: All day for food and drink specials, 6:30-8:30 p.m. for the mariachi band

Cost: $6 for certain drinks, $9-$13 for certain dishes

MAY 6

4.

What: Celebrate Cinco De Mayo a day late with music by La Ventana, a piñata, and margaritas, olé!

Where: , 4040 Blackhawk Plaza Circle in Danville

Time: 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

MAY 7

5. Hayward Cinco de Mayo Festival

Take a swing at a papier-mâché piñata, enjoy traditional Mexican music or satisfy your cravings for Mexican cuisine at this year's free community festival. The event also serves as a health fair and youth expo—booths will be set up to serve information and games to the public. 

Where: City Hall Plaza, 777 B St., Hayward

Time: 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

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