Cinco de Mayo in San Jose, CA

Cinco de Mayo Feature

You’ll likely see Mexican flags flown from cars traveling on Santa Clara, Story + King Rd. | Photo via @sj.shooters

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¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo, mis amigos! If you’ve seen all the Mexican flags around town, you know that San Jose takes this day pretty seriously.

The holiday honors Mexico’s victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, which became a symbol of resistance against foreign powers.

San Jose once held annual parades with crowds as large as 300,000, but since funding ran out in 2011, the community has found other ways to honor Mexican culture through lowrider shows, BBQs, and more. If you’re looking to join in, check out these local events celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Quakes Heritage Night

Don’t miss the Quakes’ Mexican Heritage Night this Saturday. | Photo via the San Jose Earthquakes

🎉 Community gatherings

  • First Friday: Cinco de Mayo | Friday, May 5 | 5-10 p.m. | Celebrate with live music, vendors, food trucks, and lowriders.
  • Cinco de Mayo Weekend Celebration | Friday, May 5-Sunday, May 7 | Times vary | Enjoy a family-friendly fair with live music, cultural performances, food trucks, craft brews, and more.
  • Cinco de Mayo Salsa Fest | Saturday, May 6 | 2-8 p.m. | South First Street, between San Salvador + Williams streets | $10 | Dance to live music from Orquesta Taino + La Original San Francisco, enjoy a lowrider show, and shop from local vendors.
  • Cinco de Mayo Car Show | Saturday, May 6 | 8 a.m.-3 p.m. | Eastridge Mall parking lot, 2200 Eastridge Loop | Free entry | Don’t miss this show & shine.
  • Elotes y Cumbias | Saturday, May 6 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Head to Empire 7 Studios for vendors, food, and cumbia.

🎙️ Comedy events

  • Stand-Up Comedy en Español | Thursday, May 4 | 7-10 p.m. | Palominos Bistro & Bar, 175 S. Capitol Ave. | $30 | Disfruta del show con el mejor humor Colombiano Johana Velandia.

🎵 Live music + more

  • Cinco de Mayo Celebration | Friday, May 5 | 6:30-9:30 p.m. | Head to Stanley’s Bar at Sharks Ice for Mariachi music all day, and a live performance at the end of the night.
  • Cinco de Mayo Buffet | Friday, May 5 | 9 a.m.-11 p.m. | Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet and $5 margaritas at the Fab.
  • Cinco Art Show | Friday, May 5 + Saturday, May 6 | Times vary | Celebrate 1Culture’s fifth group art show featuring LatinX artwork.