How to Host a Cinco de Mayo Party

Cinco de Mayo in Mexican culture celebrates the victory of Mexico over the French army in 1862. In America, it’s a celebration the beautiful unity of the Mexican-American people. The perfect Cinco de Mayo party is a marriage of culture and history, and entirely too much fun to let pass by.

Though not a major holiday in Mexico, in America, the 5th of May has become synonymous with embracing Mexican culture. Backyard parties abound in this sun-soaked day of frivolity as two cultures come together to celebrate history, culture, and entirely too much queso.

Take it a step beyond chips and dip with your coworkers this year! Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with friends and family in a backyard party nobody will ever forget. Throwing a Cinco de Mayo party is fun, delicious, and ripe with opportunities to get the whole family in on the fun — here’s how to make yours a hit.

 

Must-Have Foods

 

The best part about a great Cinco de Mayo party is arguably the food, so don’t miss out on anyone’s favorites. Build a nacho bar, complete with all of the good stuff: 

 

Fiesta

 

For the main course, traditional tamales are always a slam dunk. Ask around in your area about who makes the best in town — a great tamale is worth the search. 

For the kids (and other sugar fiends), whip up some homemade horchata, and set up a fun dessert taco bar with all of the best toppings, and have some homemade Cinco de Mayo popsicles ready to go in the freezer.

 

Activities for All Ages

 

Pinatas are classic fun for any celebration, least of all a Cinco de Mayo party. Stuff yours full of candy you can feel good about — we love the selection over at the Natural Candy Store.

Craft activity possibilities are pretty much endless for kids, but maracas are easy to make out of upcycled materials. Have kids bring waste products from home to make it both a cultural and environmental exercise!

 

Waste

 

When it comes to parties of any kind, waste is always an issue. Plan ahead and get dishes you can feel good about your guests using or throwing away. If you’re not big on post-party dish duty, opt for biodegradable cutlery, plates, and cups.

Skip the plastic tablecloths — cloth ones can be found at thrift stores for a few dollars, and be reused time and time again. Talk to your local party rental company about what they have available for smaller gatherings and avoid having to store bins of reusable dishes and tableware in your garage.

 

Decor

 

Use this party as an opportunity to celebrate the vibrant colors of traditional Mexican culture. Mexican flags are common at Cinco de Mayo parties, but don’t stop there! Turn cans of Mexican foods into rustic planters for cacti and flowers, fill jars with vibrant peppers, and string ribbons in place of streamers, for multi-purpose decor that doesn’t let anything go to waste.

 

maracas poncho sombrero Mexican mexico cinco de mayo

 

Use traditional Mexican cultural items to adorn tabletops, like sombreros, painted tiles for coasters, and colorful woven baskets for chips and napkins.

At night, hang vibrant paper lanterns, and cluster candles in jewel-tone votives on tables for an ambience that’s as colorful as it is charming. Light up the night with festive music — mariachi for the party hours, and salsa for the slower, quiet evening hours.

 

Dress

 

Why stop at just dressing up your party? Dress the part with richly embroidered, colorful garments and beaded jewelry that scream ‘life of the party’!

 

How are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year? Tell us your big plans in the comments below!

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