Cinco de Mayo celebration

5 Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Milwaukee

Celebrate the best of Mexican culture in Milwaukee at one of these five fiestas.

On the 5th of May, 1862, the Mexican Army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla. Their victory is celebrated fairly quietly in Mexico but has become a pretty big deal stateside, especially in cities with large Mexican-American populations. Count Milwaukee among that group.

So, if you’re feeling festive, start blasting Selena, and head on over to one of these big bashes. Just, please, remember that Cinco de Mayo is more than an excuse to get drunk on margaritas – it’s a chance to celebrate Mexican culture and the diversity of our city!

Cinco de Mayo Block Party!

Where: Kompali, 1205 E. Brady St.
When: 3 p.m.

Why spend one of the first warm weekends of the year inside when you can take your Cinco de Mayo celebration outdoors and party alongside a mariachi trio? Kompali is offering discounts on its margaritas, tacos and Mexican beers to sweeten the deal.

Cinco de Derby at Lost Valley Cider Co.

Where: 408 W. Florida St.
When: Noon

The owners of Lost Cider are capitalizing on the fact that Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby fall on the same day this year by pouring cider juleps (made with basil-mint cider) and cider margaritas (made with three pepper cider) for its thirsty patrons. There’ll be giveaways throughout the day too, and you’re encouraged to dress to impress.

[alert type=white ]Or just grab a taco!

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Taco Truck Fest 2018

Where: 2701 S. Chase Ave.
When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Tacos may be the perfect food-truck food – they’re inexpensive, easy to hold and (relatively) mess-free. At this event, hosted by El Conquistador Latino Newspaper, you can sample dozens of delicious versions of the iconic Mexican dish from some of the best taco trucks in town. And be sure to stick around for the on-site chili eating contest taking place from 2-3 p.m.

Cinco de Mayo at This Is It!

Where: 418 E. Wells St.
When: 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

If your idea of a good time involves dancing in a dimly lit room with drag queens, then you won’t want to miss this delightfully divey gay bar’s hard-rocking party. Expect discounts on specialty drinks and tequila shots.

Cinco de Mayo at Botanas

Where: 816 S. Fifth St.
When: 3:30-11 p.m.

Botanas, one of the city’s most beloved Mexican restaurants, is pulling out all the stops for its annual Cinco de Mayo party. The restaurant’s house mariachi band will play throughout the evening, and the Folklorico Dancers will perform during the band’s breaks. Plus, Salvador Villanueva will play a special set from 7-8 p.m. And there’ll be giveaways throughout the day, including free t-shirts for anyone who purchases a bucket of beers.



Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.