Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, and the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla always brings out some divergent celebrations. On one hand, you've got the Cinco de Mayo Festival on the National Mall, with traditional music, dancing and cuisine, plus activities for kids. On the other, you've got sombrero-wearing drunks doing cheap tequila shots and trying to dance to salsa. (The annual Town Tavern party, which welcomes a serape-wearing burro to its Adams Morgan patio, is just next-level.)
So what would you actually like to do on Cinco de Mayo? Here are five ideas.
Network, then party: LatinVIP.com's annual happy hour attracts hundreds of Latino professionals. This year's party includes a free buffet from 5 to 7, discounted Modelo and Corona beers, an Exodo tequila tasting, a mariachi band, DJs and dancing. Eden's rooftop deck will be open, weather permitting. RSVP to email@example.com to save $5 on admission.
Get an exclusive preview of a new taqueria: Impala Cantina, the long-awaited H Street restaurant and bar from the owners of the Tacos Impala stand, is getting close to completion. Get a preview of the cantina's outdoor space on Cinco de Mayo, when the patio hosts a pig roast with live electro-tropical music by Empresarios and Sonny Cheeba, $5 beers from 3 Stars, and $7 margaritas.
A weekend-long happy hour: Bandolero celebrates Cinco de Mayo with deals that run from Friday through Sunday, including $4 Tecate and PBR, $5 Pacifico, $6 El Bandolero margaritas on draft and $5 food specials at the bar.
Sip margaritas on a rooftop deck: Margaritas are $5 all Sunday long at El Centro D.F., whether you want a regular with salt or the spicy mango, strawberry or vanilla flavors. The $35 bottomless brunch, which includes unlimited food and brunch drinks, will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. as usual.
Let the day go to the dogs: Chihuahuas and chihuahua mixes are invited for a series of Cinco de Mayo races to raise money for a Southwest Washington dog park. The Running of the Chihuahuas begins at noon at Kastles Stadium, with a prize of $150 for the fastest pup. (You can register your speedster pup in advance.) Don't have a chihuahua? All dog breeds can enter contests for the best dressed and the dog with the best trick. The Sol Mexican food truck will be on hand, and Pacifico will be among the beers offered at bars. (Dogs get free water.) After the races are over, everyone -- including dogs -- is invited to an after-party at Cantina Marina.