Cinco de Mayo. The three words that every American, regardless of his or her Spanish-speaking abilities, knows by heart. Well, those and fiesta and caliente. Just typing them, we get the taste of margarita salt on our tongue and a jalapeño burn in our belly—and the urge to rush out to St. Paul’s District del Sol this weekend, site of the metro’s fiesta más caliente. Here, the party lasts all weekend long, a celebration of Mexican heritage and, for you history buffs, the Battle of Puebla, when a ragtag Mexican army defeated invading French forces, then the best army in the world.
Each May, a vibrantly colored, delicious smelling party erupts on a six-block stretch of this West Side neighborhood. The District does well with traditional festival fare—a parade, a salsa-tasting contest, a history area, and oodles and oodles of fantastic street food. But the real event is the low rider show, when neighbors compete to show off the most tricked-out car; a bump-and-lurch battle of stunt hydraulics. It’s no wonder last year’s fiesta drew over 100,000 attendees.
Cinco de Mayo in District del Sol
May 6, 4–9 p.m.
May 7, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
César Chávez Street, between Wabasha and Anita Streets, St. Paul