Old Town San Diego, a neighborhood steeped in Hispanic history, will begin their celebration of the Cinco de Mayo holiday Friday.
The 36th Annual Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo transforms the community's historic square into a lively three-day event.
While security is always a priority at the event, the San Diego Police Department is stepping up patrols this year in light of recent hate-crime violence in San Diego.
"There's undercover police roaming the streets," said Sunny Lee, executive director of the Old Town Chamber of Commerce. "The security is here, you just might not see it."
And Lee adds law enforcement will be at all facets of the festival.
"There's security hidden in all little corridors," Lee said Friday. "They even have stations at the event that no one knows about."
The free festival boasts live music, dance performances, Lucha Libre wrestling matches, a car show, deals at participating Old Town restaurants and more. This, all in the heart of the state historic park that celebrates Mexican-American culture year-round.
Old Town will throw its annual, three-day Cinco de Mayo party this weekend, beginning Friday night, and then from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Cinco de Mayo.
Cafe Coyote said they will have authentic Mexican cuisine like mole enchiladas.
At Old Town Mexican Cafe, around since 1977, guests can enjoy carnitas and homemade tortillas.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla, when the Mexican army was able to defeat the French on May 5, 1862.