Though often mistaken for ‘Mexican Independence Day‘ which is celebrated on September 16, this Friday (May 5) commemorates the anniversary of Mexico‘s victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Cinco de Mayo celebrations began in California and spread throughout the country with more people observing the day here in the United States than in Mexico.

May 5 is observed as a day of celebration of Mexican culture, cuisine, and heritage but much like other holidays, we tend to use it as an excuse to indulge in drinking lots of cervezas and tequila.

Picazzo wearing a sombrero holding tequila bottles

This year’s celebration is sure to be especially festive with Cinco de Mayo falling on a Friday. Many of the Las Vegas hotels and resorts have Mexican restaurants within them for tourists looking to party close to the strip.

Suggestions off the top of my head include Carlos ‘n Charlies inside the Flamingo, Diablo’s Cantina found inside the LuxorSeñor Frog’s at Treasure Island, and Cabo Wabo located center-Strip inside Miracle Mile Shops.

For my local Nevadans and more adventurous visitors looking to avoid the Strip, here are some hot spots to consider for grabbing a cold margarita and celebrating Cinco de Mayo with those of us that call Las Vegas home.

Having just opened this past February, the latest edition to Las Vegas‘ bar scene is Ojos Locos, billed as the first-ever hotel-casino dedicated to the Latino community. This ‘Mexican Hooters’ is a laid-back sports cantina combined with a casino.

Located off the 93 freeway at Cheyenne Ave in North Las Vegas, Ojos Locos serves Mexican and Latin American fare like ceviche, elote, and tacos, as well as buffalo chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, and boneless wings.

Their cocktail servers and bartenders are expected to join in on the Cinco de Mayo celebration Friday by wearing a variety of Green, White, and Red-colored lingerie (should you need any other reason to stop by).

Ojos Locos Waitresses

If you’re looking for something a bit more family-friendly, look no further than Pancho’s in Downtown Summerlin. One of my personal favorite traditional Mexican restaurants around with two-stories of dining and a spacious bar.

Just look for the bronze Mariachis.

Mariachi Band Bronze Statues

Also worth mentioning, Container Park is hosting a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta with a free performance by Ballet Folklorico at 5:30pm. Cheers!

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