How to: Throw a Fiesta

Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, lands on a Wednesday and a week before finals which can be a buzz kill for those that want to consume alcohol on that day.

No worries, there are other fun things to do to commemorate the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

It is an increasingly popular holiday for people of Mexican heritage living in the U.S. and you can join in by celebrating Mexican the culture through food, music, beverages and customs unique to Mexico.

Invite your friends know to a Cinco de Mayo fiesta costume party and have them dress up as a famous Mexican or Mexican-American. Another suggestion would be for your guests to pull out their sombreros and wear bright colors.

Decorations: Mexico is known for its use of bright colors, so use the colors of the Mexican flag (red, white and green) and the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo as your inspiration for decorating your place. Party City and the 99-cent store have cheap party supplies like plates, napkins and cups. To make it a bit fancy and fun buy plastic margarita cups for beverages.

Put up mini cacti around the area or make them out of paper to display them up on the walls. Toy maracas in red, green and white make fun favors. Also, scatter Mexican candy on the tables for the guests to eat while waiting for other guests to arrive. Don’t forget a few piñatas filled with candy, which is a must for a fiesta.

Games: A fun game to play is loteria which is sort of like bingo, except everything is in Spanish. This can be a fun game for those that are non-speakers in Spanish. In this game one person has a deck of cards and that person needs to say the word in Spanish while everyone else has their loteria board and needs to fill up their board with dry beans. The first person to fill up their board yells “loteria.”

During the fiesta, to celebrate Mexican culture and its music, play a combination of mariachi and salsa tunes. Engage your guests in a contest on who can do the best mariachi yell, whoever wins can pick one of the displayed piñatas to take home.

Food: Appetizers for your guests include corn tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole sauce. One of the main dishes can be quesadillas, tacos are also easy to make by simply buying the tortillas at your grocery store and cooking up meat like beef, pork or chicken.

Another Mexican dish that is easy to make are tostadas which is a fried flat corn tortilla (which you can find at your local grocery store) put refried beans on top and then add meat, lettuce, cheese and tomato. And most importantly do not forget the hot sauce.

Dessert: For the best part of the whole meal offer your guests Mexico’s specialties flan and churros. You could either buy them at the grocery store or make it yourself by looking up the recipes online.

Beverages: Since Cinco de Mayo lands on a weekday, you can still have a good time with little alcohol (those that are legal to consume it) or with non-alcoholic Mexican drinks. Horchata is rice milk and is a drink specialty in Mexico and also easy to make. Make virgin margaritas and piña coladas to make it festive.

For those that are of legal age, make margaritas but try not to add too much tequila to the drinks that way the next day your guests are able to attend work and school.

At the end, have fun on Cinco de Mayo with your close friends and try not to drink too much tequila because the next day it’s back to studying for those finals.