Prepare to party with Cinco de Mayo

Michael H. Hodges
Detroit News Fine Arts Writer
Half the fun of Cinco de Mayo is checking out Mexicantown's great murals.

Ready to get your Cinco de Mayo on? 

Everyone's favorite Mexican holiday, which honors the nation's victory over France at the 1862 Battle of Puebla, returns this year with days of family-friendly activities celebrating language, culture, art and local businesses. 

New this year will be a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Saturday and Sunday, organized by the Mexican Patriotic Committee of Metro Detroit. Look for the fun along 21st Street between Bagley and W. Vernor.

"There will be Mexican food trucks, local artists teaching, music, performances and merchandise from local businesses," said Ashley Danto Silverman, a member of the West Vernor & Springwells Business Improvement District, one of the organizations that helped organize the festivities. 

But Saturday and Sunday aren't the only days to watch out for.

"Oh my God," Danto said. "There are so many things going on. If I didn’t have a baby," about to turn one year old, she said, "I’d be going to all of them."

Thursday will be rebranded "Dulce (sweet) Thursday," with an emphasis on all things sugary and delicious in Southwest Detroit. It's the day to cruise Mexicantown's bakeries and mercados, searching for the perfect pan dulce (sweet bread) or mangonada -- a mango-based fruit drink. 

And you won't want to miss Friday's Taco Tour & Tequila Crawl, with 15 restaurants and taquerias participating from 6 p.m. to midnight. Tours are self-guided and free -- visit for more information.

In addition to the fiesta, Saturday will focus on shopping, with sales and special promotions at shops and markets all across the district. 

Dancers arrive for last year's Cinco de Mayo in southwest Detroit.

Sunday at noon, of course, will be the kickoff of the 55th Annual Cinco de Mayo Parade, also sponsored by the Mexican Patriotic Committee, and this year marching down West Vernor from Central to 23rd Street. 

High points include the Detroit Police Equestrian Squad and the Western International High School ROTC, plus more than 50 organizations, nonprofits and businesses. 

Starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, Clark Park will host the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and Mercado, with kid-friendly activities like a bouncy house and slide, petting zoo, clowns and face-painters. 

Even better, food and beverages will be free to all celebrants. 

And finally, anyone who takes a selfie in front of one of 16 community murals and art installations and posts the image to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook by Sunday will be entered in a drawing to win a gift certificate from local businesses. 

Just be sure to use the hashtag #CincoSWDet.

(313) 222-6021

Twitter: @mhodgesartguy


'Cinco de Mayo' 

Thurs. - Sun. throughout Southwest Detroit 

6 p.m. Fri. - Taco Tour & Tequila Crawl kicks off

Noon - 7 p.m. Sat. & 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Sun. - Cinco de Mayo Fiesta on 21st between Bagley & W. Vernor 

Noon Sun. - Cinco de Mayo Parade, starting at W. Vernor and Central

Questions? Visit