Celebrating Cinco de Mayo at Lake Tahoe
A busy weekend wraps up Sunday with one of the best unofficial holidays all year.
Cinco de Mayo falls on a Sunday this year, so hopefully you have a sick day in the reserves for Monday … especially if you decide to do it up for the derby on Saturday.
Like most holidays celebrated in the U.S., the story behind the day doesn’t really matter.
Many people tend to believe the day signifies Mexico’s independence, but it actually commemorates a victory in a lesser-known battle between Mexico and France, as the New York Times noted in a 2018 article.
In fact, a piece published by USA TODAY in 2015 noted that the “holiday” is more of an American one than a Mexican one. (Of course, plenty of Mexican-Americans celebrate the day too.)
And if us Americans are good at anything it’s taking a day, stripping it of its meaning, filling it with stereotypes, and using the entire event as an excuse to binge drink.
So, here’s to margaritas, non-authentic tacos and mariachi music.
Below are some suggestions for Cinco de Mayo celebrations around the lake.
16th annual Cinco de Mayo Festival
OK, we just talked a little bit of smack about how Cinco de Mayo is a culturally bankrupt excuse to booze, but this first suggestion is an amazingly fun community event that involves plenty of authenticity while benefiting a local nonprofit.
South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center’s 16th annual Cinco de Mayo Festival returns to Heavenly Mountain Resort’s California Lodge on Friday, May 3.
The event runs from 5-10 p.m. and features an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet, authentic live music, folkloric dancers, children’s activities, a no-host beer and wine bar and tequila tasting.
Tickets are on sale at the center, located at 3501 Spruce Ave., Suite B., for $25 in advance. The cost increases to $30 at the door. Children 6 to 12 years old will be admitted for $10 and children younger than 5 are free.
Proceeds from the evening benefit the South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center, whose mission is: “To enable individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency and economic stability, to develop resilience in both parents and children, and to allow families to become a contributing part of the community.”
Caliente Lake Tahoe
Located in Kings Beach, Caliente is known for its food and its great location — seriously, this is the place to be once the weather warms up.
Caliente is starting the day at noon. Lunch will be available, as will discounted Cazadores tequila.
At 3 p.m., the restaurant will host the “running of the chihuahuas.” Sign your chihuahua, or small dog, up to race.
Other activities include the “horses ass relay race” and a taco eating contest later in the day.
Kids are welcome at Caliente, which will have a pinata and plenty of candy.
The fun runs until 10 p.m.
Caliente is located at 8791 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach, California. Learn more at http://www.calientetahoe.com/.
The shops in the Village are extending the celebration to Saturday and Sunday with a Cinco De Mayo Fiesta & Margarita Contest.
Restaurants will be competing to see who has the best margarita, with you being the ultimate judge.
The cost is $20 which gets you a glass and wrist band for tasting.
Participating restaurants include Azul Latin Kitchen, California Burger Company, FiRE + iCE, Gunbarrel Tavern and Eatery, Kalani’s, The Loft and The Social House.
There will be live Latin music in front of Azul all weekend long, culminating with a performance by the David Perez Band at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Learn about the weekend festivities at facebook.com/heavenlyvillagetahoe/.
The Lodge Restaurant & Pub
Located in Truckee, The Lodge is hosting a Cinco de Mayo party from 5-9 p.m. Sunday.
Offerings include $3 Mexican beer specials and $6 house-made margaritas.
The menu will feature authentic Mexican items, such as carne asada, shrimp ceviche and chicken tortilla soup.
The Lodge Restaurant & Pub is located at 12850 Northwoods Blvd., in Truckee, California.
Learn about the restaurant and its events at http://www.tahoedonner.com.