Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held in Detroit and other cities across the United States each year on the 5th of May. It is observed to commemorate freedom and democracy from French forces in the Mexican state of Puebla. This is the time to honor Mexican-American culture. The festivities in Detroit are lively, and crowds take to the streets to enjoy the fiesta, which occurs throughout the day. The Detroit area has the largest Mexican population in Michigan, so it’s no surprise that Southwest Detroit, often referred to as Mexicantown, has an array of places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

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Southwest Detroit Cinco de Mayo Parade
Vernor Highway- Parade Route
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 554-9419Price: Free to public, sponsored by the Mexican Patriotic Committee
Date: Sun, May 6th, 2012
Time: 12 p.m.

The most distinctive event in Detroit every May is the Cinco de Mayo Parade, which is in its 48th year. This year, the parade will be held at noon on Sunday, May 6, 2012. Spectators line-up for this exciting tradition on a 3.1 mile stretch of Vernor Highway to watch and take part in the grand Cinco de Mayo tradition. This spectacular event features low riders, folk dancers, school bands and floats, all of which will be decorated with themes that pay tribute to Latino culture.

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Los Galanes
3362 Bagley St.
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 554-4444
www.losgalanesdetroit.comHours: Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri, Sun – 9 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sat – 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Los Galanes hosts the best Cinco de Mayo celebration in Detroit, hands down. The gigantic restaurant and bar hosts a street party each year, which draws major crowds. This full-on extravaganza includes live entertainment and even livelier dancing–there is even a dance floor for willing participants. The abundant outdoor seating offered is an excellent place to relax for a bit and people watch while sipping on a refreshing tequila-infused cocktail. Known for its sangria and ceviche, Los Galanes also makes fresh tortillas on site. Be sure to ask for the four varieties of salsa, which they will bring for you to sample.

Photo Credit: Armando's Mexican Restaurant via Facebook

Armando’s Mexican Restaurant
4242 W. Vernor Highway
Detroit, MI
(313) 554-0666
www.mexicantown.comHours: Sun to Thurs – 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Fri to Sat – 10:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Armando’s often features a lively crowd, and Cinco de Mayo is certainly no exception. If you are out until the wee hours, this a great spot to hit for some after-party food, because the restaurant is open late. Armando’s is sure to bustling with activity until they close at 4 a.m. The atmosphere is festive, and Armando’s has been known to serve red and green tortilla chips for the Cinco de Mayo holiday, adding a nice touch and some much needed food to the bellies of those who may have had one to many margaritas.

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Mexican Town Restaurant
3437 Bagley St.
Detroit, MI  48216
(313) 841-5811
www.mexicantownrestaurant.comHours: Daily – 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Mexican Town Restaurant is located in the heart of, you guessed it, Mexicantown. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, providing a more intimate venue for your Cinco de Mayo celebration. What this Mexicantown location is really known for is its flaming fajitas and handmade tamales. A traditional mariachi band can be found strolling through the premises on select dates.

Related: Best Mexican Food Around Detroit

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Taqueria Mi Pueblo
7278 Dix
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 841-3315
www.mipueblorestaurant.comHours: Mon to Thurs – 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri to Sat – 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.

This is where the locals go. Relax with a cerveza at Mi Pueblo, which features a friendly, comfortable atmosphere, slightly removed from the main attractions during Cinco de Mayo. An enclosed parking lot is adjacent to the restaurant and is available exclusively for patrons. This low-key spot is a great place to bring the family; they even have a special children’s menu.  The food is authentic and offers a variety of delicacies including lengua and tripe. Taqueria Mi Pueblo has been featured in many acclaimed publications, and also features a Mexican karaoke show on weekends starting at 8:15 p.m.

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Mexican Village Restaurant
2600 Bagley St.
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 237-0333
www.mexicanvillagefood.comHours: Daily – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Mexican Village is Detroit’s oldest Mexican restaurant in Southwest Detroit. The unique atmosphere features hand-painted murals and tile floors. Other charming elements include arched entryways, stucco walls and dark beams that accent the ceiling. A mariachi band performs on the premises on some evenings and weekends. For a tasty treat, try the brazo, a unique rolled cake and definitely a crowd favorite. The menu also features an impressive selection of margaritas, just what you need to celebrate Cinco de Mayo properly.

Related: How to Make a Margarita