San Diegans love Cinco de Mayo and perhaps the best place to celebrate the Mexican holiday is at Old Town State Historic Park – at least on this side of the border.
Each year, Old Town hosts one epic, three-day fiesta in honor of Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that commemorates the victory of the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
This year marks the 33rd annual Old Town celebration and, in its signature style, the free, family-friendly shindig will span three full days of live music and dance across three stages, plus food, beer, tequila tastings and other activities, including a low-rider car show, historical demonstrations, and face painting and arts and crafts for the kids.
The fun starts Thursday as select Old Town bars and eateries offer Cinco de Mayo drink and food specials and live entertainment.
On Friday, the fiesta officially kicks off at 4 p.m. with a petting zoo and pony rides and the Low-Rider Lane car show. Lucha Libre wrestling will also go down on the hour from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The party continues in Old Town through the weekend, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday for “Dia de las Madres,” aka Mother’s Day.
The Old Town Cinco de Mayo bash is the largest event of its kind in Southern California and always draws a huge crowd. Parking is limited and the lots do fill up fast, so attendees may want to consider taking public transit, including the trolley to the event.
The trolley's Green Line stops at the Old Town Transit Center located at 4005 Taylor St., which is only a few steps away from Old Town.
For more fiesta details, click here.