Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

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Cinco de Mayo party ideas - find the best Cinco de Mayo recipes, activities, traditions and party food ideas for your Cinco de Mayo celebration!

As you may know, Cinco de Mayo is on May 5th and is a Mexican festival which celebrates a great achievement in the history of Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo is a time to enjoy all the Mexican favorites. Families, friends, and neighbors all gather together to enjoy the traditional Cinco de mayo holiday recipes and the best loved Mexican foods prepared for this occasion.

Cinco de Mayo party ideas and activities include traditional Mexican music, parades, dancing and singing. And of course, the kids love the pinatas filled with their favorite candy.

Along with all the usual theme party ideas and favorite party menu ideas, there are more fun party ideas!

Do you have any Cinco de Mayo party ideas to share with us? If you do please go to your party ideas page and add your Cinco de Mayo party ideas there.

Cinco De Mayo Party Ideas 

In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the state of Puebla. It has major significance in that part of the country because it commemorates an initial victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 6, 1862.

There is a common misconception that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day when in fact September 16th is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.

In the early hours of September 16, 1810, father Hidalgo, accompanied by several conspirators (Iganacio Allende, Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez to name a few), rang the bell at his church calling on everyone to fight for liberty. This was the beginning of the Mexican Independence War, which lasted 10 years.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on meaning beyond that in Puebla, Mexico. Regardless of their own ethnic descent, Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Oktoberfest (among other holidays) to honor those of Irish and German descent.

Similarly, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated to honor the culture and experience of those of Mexican descent. And Cinco de mayo party ideas include music, good food and margaritas.

Mostly in cities with large populations of those of Mexican ancestry, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Antonio, Cinco de Mayo celebrations are enjoyed by all. But anyone can celebrate.

This is the perfect occasion for planning a home theme party so I thought I would help you get started by sharing some Cinco de Mayo party ideas as well as few of my favorite Cinco de Mayo food and recipes.

Great Recipes for Your Cinco de Mayo Party!

Delicious Appetizer--Warm Chipotle Cheddar Dip

What you need:

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1-8 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained (3/4 cup) 1-4 oz. can chopped green chili peppers, drained 2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce (or to taste) 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped (3/4 cup) 1/4 cup sliced green onion 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro Vegetables, crackers or chips.

I found this dip when I was on a low carb diet and was looking for a party appetizer that would work well with vegetables. Something with a robust flavor that would perk up the veggies.

Well this one definitely fit the bill. This appetizer has become a favorite among my friends. It's served multiple times throughout the year at various parties that I either host or attend.

You can make it as smokey and spicy as you want by adjusting the amount of chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos) but watch out. You can easily go from mildly spicy to blow-your-face-off hot by adding too much!

Steps to Make Cheddar Chipotle Dip

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Stir together cheeses, mayonnaise, corn, green chili peppers, chipotle chili peppers and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl. Spread mixture into a 1 quart, covered dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly. Top with tomato, green onion and cilantro. I like to make a pattern out of the toppings so I put the tomatoes all in the middle, make a ring around them with the green onion then sprinkle the cilantro over all.
  • Serve with vegetables, like red, green and yellow peppers. Tostido and Frito Scoops work well too.

Main Course--Chicken with Chocolate Sauce (Mole Poblano)

What you need:

4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, minced. 6 chicken breast halves, (skinless and boneless), 1 onion, chopped. 1 green pepper, chopped. 3 slices canned pimento, chopped. 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped. 2 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste), 2-1/2 cups chicken broth, 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup raisins,  1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg,  1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar grated, rind of 1 orange, 2 squares bitter chocolate, chopped. 1/4 cup light rum (optional).

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a casserole, heat oil and cook garlic for a few minutes to flavor the oil. Add chicken just to brown (it will finish cooking in the oven) and then remove it from the pan.
  • In the remaining fat, cook onion, green pepper, pimento and tomato over gentle heat for 10 minutes. Add chili powder, blending well.
  • Add broth, almonds, raisins, seasonings and rind. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes then add the chocolate and stir until melted.
  • Add chicken back in and spoon sauce on top.
  • Cover and bake for 1 hour or until chicken is tender. 
  • Warm rum, ignite it and pour over contents of casserole. 
  •  Allow to stand for a few minutes until flame is extinguished and then serve on a large platter.

Serves 6.

Cocktail--Golden Margarita, Vero Beach Style

What you need:

1-1/2 oz. Gold Tequila, 1/2 oz. lime juice, 3 oz sour mix, 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier (can use Cointreau or Triple Sec), Dash of orange juice, Lime wedge for garnish, Salt for rimming glass (optional).

Several years ago, my husband and I were sitting at a cute little beachfront bar in Vero Beach, Florida. The bartender asked us for our order and I wanted to try something new. He told us that he makes a "mean margarita."

I told him that my experience with margaritas up to that point was not very good. Every time I tried one, they were either so tart that my face would pucker up or the sour mix was so acidic that it burned going down.

He claimed that his "Golden Margarita" would be different. He was right and I have loved them ever since.

To make a Golden Margarita, Vero Beach style:

  • Dip the rim of a margarita glass in water then salt.
  • In a shaker, combine tequila, lime juice and sour mix with ice cubes. Shake well. Pour contents, with ice, into the glass.
  • Gently pour the Grand Marnier and then the orange juice on top of the tequila mixture. Garnish with the lime wedge.
  • When you take a sip of this drink, first you get the sweet taste of the orange liqueur and juice then you get the tartness of the lime and sour mix. The combination makes a perfectly smooth Margarita.

Now that you know the meaning of Cinco de Mayo and have a bunch of great party recipes, start planning your party now. May 5th will be here before you know it.

Cinco de Mayo Decorations

Decorating for your party and need some Cinco de Mayo party ideas?

Take a look at for all the great decorations you need to make your Cinco de Mayo a party to be remembered!

More great Cinco de Mayo party ideas include decorating with plenty of tissue paper flowers, add the colors of the flag of Mexico - green white and red, put on your sombreros and some Mexican folk music, salsa or mariachi music and join the fiestas!

By Sandee Lembke from Theme Party

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