It’s the weekend before Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican holiday that’s become a good excuse for norteamericanos to don silly, oversized sombreros and down vast quantities of Mexican booze.
If you’d like to acknowledge the occasion without getting splashed with somebody’s overflowing margarita or cerveza, check out these alternatives to drink specials at the taco bar.
Cinco de Mayo Celebration & Chihuahua Races
What: Watch more than 100 purebred Chihuahuas face off for prize money, trophies and the titles of king and queen. An accompanying festival features live singers, bands, mariachis and dancers; food and drink; a vendor fair; beer garden and free health screenings for children.
When: 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday
Where: Downtown Chandler Library Plaza, 100 E. Commonwealth Ave.
Cost: Free admission; bring money for purchases
Information: (480) 782-2735 or www.chandleraz.gov
What: Local brass ensemble Salt River Brass plays the music of Latin America and Spain, including the world-famous second Mexican national anthem, Zacatecas, in this concert billed “as vibrant as a desert sunset.”
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave.
Cost: $15-$20 for adults; $13-$18 for children, students and seniors
Information: (480) 782-2680 or www.chandlercenter.org
Cinco de Mayo Comedy Fiesta
What: Laugh it up with a Latin comedic lineup that includes Chris Reid (House Party I & II, Kid n Play), Jill-Michele Melean (Reno 911, Madtv), Rudy Moreno (The George Lopez Show, Everybody Loves Raymond) and Johnny Sanchez (MADtv).
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Casino Arizona, Loop 101 and McKellips Road, Scottsdale
Information: (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com
Eat and drink
Cinco de Mayo Salsa Festival and Challenge
What: Taste salsa, tequila, Mexican wedding cookies, flan and margarita pie from Valley restaurants while mariachis and folklorico dancers perform. Chefs will compete to create winning salsas.
When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: El Pedregal, 34505 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Information: (480) 488-1072 or www.elpedregal.com
Cinco de Mayo Skate
What: Bring the family for an old-fashioned roller-skating party with games, music and giveaways.
When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: USA Skateland, 7 E. Southern Ave., Mesa
Cost: Admission is free before 6 p.m.; $2 after 6 p.m. Skate rental is $3-$4, or you may bring your own.
Information: (480) 833-7775 or www.skatelandmesa.com
Cinco de Mayo Festival
What: Celebrate the day with live entertainers, arts-and-crafts booths, traditional Mexican foods and a children’s play area.
When: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday
Where: Patriots Square Park, Central Avenue and Washington Street, Phoenix
Cost: $5 adults; free for children age 12 and younger
Information: (602) 279-4669