Whether you consider Cinco de Mayo a tequila-laced answer to St. Patrick’s Day or an opportunity to appreciate Mexican heritage, there’s no shortage of themed parties, food and cultural events this weekend.

Here’s everything you need to know for Saturday’s festivities:

D.C.’s Maru Montero Dance Company will perform at Saturday’s Cinco de Mayo celebration on the National Mall. Pictured is 8-year-old dancer Zelia Jacobson, left, and her 6-year-old sister, Solinda. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

The parties: Going Out Guide rounds up the day’s best events, including live concerts, a pool party and a photo op with a serape-clad donky.

The food: Here’s a list of Mexican restaurants in D.C., Maryland and Virginia for those who want to eat out — and lots of recipes for those craving a Mexican feast at home.

Cinco de Mayo’s roots. Hard as it may be to believe, the holiday is about more than an excuse to eat and drink too much.

— One group of young dancers is learning about the cultural significance of the day first-hand, reports Luz Lazo.

Quiz: How much do you really know about Mexico?

It goes without saying that if you do drink, don’t drive. Just don’t expect to rely on free cabs from SoberRide as you may have on St. Patrick’s Day. (The program is scheduled to offer the complimentary rides again July 4th.)

Operation Cinco de Mayo. If you need extra incentive to find a designated driver, Alexandria police have announced that they will conduct a sobriety campaign they’re calling “Operation Cinco de Mayo.” The DWI crackdown will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Non-Cinco de Mayo events: It’s a jam-packed weekend, with events including the Kentucky Derby, the Virginia Gold Cup and Passport DC.