Joe Maddon is either a huge fan of the 1862 Mexican army, or — more likely — the Cubs manager wanted to keep a light mood in the clubhouse as Chicago prepared to host the Nationals at Wrigley Field on Thursday.

In a nod to Cinco de Mayo (which recognizes Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, in case you were unaware), the Cubs enjoyed the musical stylings of a mariachi band before kicking off a four-game series that pits the teams with the best two records in baseball against each other.

“This is really happening,” outfielder Dexter Fowler said over rapid-fire trumpeting.

While Fowler appeared to have mixed feelings about the pregame trumpeting, infielder Javier Baez and pitcher Pedro Strop, respective natives of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, seemed to enjoy the songs sung in their native tongue — if the smiling Instagram photos they posted were an indication.

But why shouldn’t the Cubs celebrate, whether Cinco de Mayo or their first-place bout with the Nationals? The former has become quite the festivity in the U.S., and Maddon’s Cubs are certainly a fun-loving bunch. And the latter was historic, when you add in the cross-town series at U.S. Cellular Field between the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, also division-leading teams.