15 Ways to Spend Your Cinco de Mayo (Before It’s Even Cinco de Mayo)

Rock the Boat

200 Aquarium Way Suite 4, Long Beach

On Friday, Rock the Boat LA will be hosting a Banda night. Banda is traditional brass-based Mexican music. Tickets are $25. The boat departs at 11 p.m. sharp.

Tacos & Beer 5K

7550 E. Spring St. Long Beach

This event is Saturday, but it still is a nice kickoff to Cinco de Mayo. After the run, participants will be rewarded with beer and tacos.  It’ll be a nice workout before all of the tacos and beers you’ll consume throughout the week. Late registration tickets are still available.

Tacos & Beer 5K. - Courtesy photo

Tacos & Beer 5K. – Courtesy photo

Museum of Latin American Art

628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

On Sunday, Martin Espino, a Mexican-American composer of indigenous music is scheduled to perform and meet with attendees. The event is free and will be from 1 p.m. -4 p.m. It will be a nice time to appreciate Mexican culture before letting loose for the holiday weekend.

Fiestas Del Mar

1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

Gear up for Cinco de Mayo at the Fiesta Del Mar, a full day of regional Mexican music (2 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at the Queen Mary, featuring Larry Hernandez. A Latin Billboard Music Award winner, Hernandez was a YouTube sensation before topping the charts with the release of his album 16 Narco Corridos. Also performing is Latin Grammy-nominated group Voz de Mando (“Comandos del M.P. (500 Balazos)”), Alfredo Olivas, La Septima Banda, Grupo Escolta, and Salazar Y Su Nueva Eskuela. Presented by Radio Centro 93.9 FM.

Sevilla Nightclub

140 Pine Ave, Long Beach

They will be having their weekly salsa and bachata night on May 4. Come practice your Latin dance moves the day before Cinco de Mayo.

May 5

Cuban Pete’s Mojito Lounge

245 Pine Ave. #290, Long Beach

There will be $4 Tequila shots and three rooms of music ranging from hip hop, Latin mix to open format.

Lola’s Mexican Cuisine

2030 E. Fourth St., Long Beach

With their $5 Margaritas and $8 appetizers during their happy hour, you’ll be able to have a full stomach and a nice buzz before enjoying the nightlife.


Lola' Mexican Cuisine. - Courtesy photo

Lola’ Mexican Cuisine. – Courtesy photo

Panama Joe’s

5100 E 2nd St. Long Beach

The redesigned bar/restaurant will be having a massive event that starts at 11 a.m. There will be several drink deals from $17.50 Corona buckets of four to buying any size drink and getting the second for 25 cents. There also will be a margarita brain freeze challenge and a Serrano Chile eating contest for a chance to win cash prizes.

Tequila Jacks

407 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach

With their location being on the dock you will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery while getting stuffed off their happy hour selection.

Los Compadres

3229 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

Authentic with a colorful interior. One Yelp reviewer called it “Mexican Food Heaven!!!!! Homemade tortillas with food that makes your mouth water! This is the spot for all my Mexican favorites.”  Expect a long line, waiting to get in.

Taco Beach

211 Pine Ave., Long Beach

Known for its cantina style, Taco Beach is another authentic Mexican restaurant. It has a sports bar atmosphere and it is known for its chips and salsa.

Agaves Kitchen and Tequila

200 Pine Ave. Long Beach

A nice place to enjoy good food and drinks. Their drinks are known to sneak up on you due to their great taste.

Hotel Maya DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

700 Queensway Drive, Long Beach

They will be honoring Acan, the Mayan god of intoxication. There will be live salsa music and dancing along with street taco stations and drinks.

Alex’s Bar

2913 E Anaheim St. Long Beach

If you’re into nontraditional events and surprises, this punk rock bar will be hosting a surprise performance act that will not be released until the week of. Tickets are on sale now for $35 and they are encouraging people to boldly buy their tickets.

Finally . . . if you aren’t into the bar scene, stay safe at home and make . . . guacamole. This is Tyler Florence’s recipe from the Food Network. Everyone has their own take on how to make guac, but this is my go-to, never-fail-me-yet recipe. Thanks Tyler!

  • 6 ripe avocados
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed then minced
  • 2 serrano chiles, cut into rounds
  • 1 big handful fresh cilantro with stems, about 1/2 cup, finely chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Halve and pit the avocados. With a tablespoon, scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados using either a fork or potato masher, leaving them still a bit chunky. Add the remaining ingredients, and fold everything together. Drizzle with a little olive oil, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and give it one final mix with a fork.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap tight on the surface of the guacamole so it doesn’t brown and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence, 2007

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