Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Colorado Springs
Feliz Cinco de Mayo! This yearly celebration recognizes the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla when Mexico soundly defeated the French army. Despite the Mexican army’s smaller numbers and lack of equipment, they were able to rally their forces to best the invaders on May 5, 1962. Several days after the victory, Mexico’s President Benito Juárez declared the anniversary a national holiday.
Like many other holidays that have joined the cultural mosaic of the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a broader celebration beyond its original roots. Today, it is a holiday that celebrates Mexican culture even as it reflects on the victory at the Battle of Puebla more than 160 years ago. That, of course, means important things are afoot for connoisseurs of delicious food, great jams and a whole lot of fun.
Where to Eat on Cinco de Mayo
If you want to spend your Cinco de Mayo sampling delicious food, you’re in the right city. Colorado Springs has a variety of Mexican restaurants ranging from authentic to fusion and a lot of inspiration in between. Here are some of the top places to check out in the Pikes Peak region:
The Loop in Manitou Springs
965 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829
This popular restaurant is located in the charming town of Manitou Springs, on the westside of Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City. The portions are hearty and filling with lots of variety. It’s a popular stop for post-Incline refuels, especially the instant chips and salsa and giant margaritas.
Azada Mexican Grill in Downtown Colorado Springs
16 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Don’t waste your time on any other fast-casual, build-your-own burrito joints in town. Azada blows them all away with fresh tortillas pressed right as you watch in total awe. Those chewy, stretchy, delightful tortillas hold a massive amount of rice, flavorful meats and fresh veggies and cheese. Get one to go and don’t forget your churros.
Amanda’s Cantina in Old Colorado City
3625 Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
This rustic neighborhood favorite is located in the small gap between Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. Family-owned and operated, the restaurant offers creekside and outdoor dining that is just as cool as their indoor atmosphere. The portions are huge, as are the drinks and the chips and salsa are always fresh, hot and fast.
Crystal Park Cantina
178 Crystal Park Rd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Crystal Park Cantina has lots of stellar eats, but they’re also known for their margaritas. Using only fresh juices and agave tequilas, Crystal Park’s margaritas are a frequent favorite for tired tourists, hike-worn locals and lovers of salty and refreshing beverages for no reason at all. Their rad menu with traditional favorites and innovative eats (try the sweet potato nachos for a wild app) are just a bonus.
Cinco de Mayo Events in the Pikes Peak Region
In addition to dining, there are also several Cinco de Mayo events happening in the Pikes Peak region you’ll definitely want to check out.
Cinco de Mayo Scholarship Fundraiser 39th Annual Fiesta and Car Show
Saturday, April 29 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | 1605 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80910
Billed as the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in Southern Colorado, this annual car show has generated more than $200,000 in scholarship funds for hundreds of students. This decades-old celebration includes live music and DJs, great food, kids’ activities and cultural dances. Oh, and lots and lots of absolutely gorgeous cars. This is a family-friendly event that is open to all. If you have a car you want to show off, drop $30 and support the kids of Southern Colorado. You can also enter a pedal bike for $20.
Taco Trail Digital Pass
May 1-31 | Multiple Locations in Downtown Colorado Springs
Downtown Colorado Springs has teamed up with several popular taco restaurants to create the Taco Trail Digital Pass. For one month only, you’ll be able to turn your love of tacos into points you can redeem for prizes. That’s like winning a prize for winning a prize. Download the app here and start visiting popular participating locations to begin racking up taco points.
Glow-in-the-Dark Cinco de Mayo
May 5 | 7:30 p.m. | 402 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
For one night only, pizzeria Steel Pan PNP is transforming to a fiesta locale of epic proportions. DJs galore will spin the beats you crave as you dance the night away. GA tickets will run you $15, but an extra $10 will grant you a VIP experience with a private lounge. Ladies are free until 10 p.m. Dress in clothes that pop to ensure you’re front and center when the beat drops.
Best Salsa Competition
May 5 | 5-8 p.m. | Mash Mechanix, 429 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Sample homemade salsas for free during this spicy-and-fabulous salsa competition hosted by Mash Mechanix. Yes, it is completely free. The venue has promised 20 unique salsas in mild, medium and hot. You can check their Facebook to discover if there are still openings left if you’d like to battle with your own special salsa.
Cinco de Mayo Live Music Events
If you want to catch some live music as you celebrate Cinco de Mayo, several venues around town are hosting special holiday shows.
Mariachi Diamante at the Royal Gorge Bridge
May 5-7 | 12 – 2p.m. | 4218 County Road 3A, Canon City, 81212
Did you know that the Arkansas River was once the border between the United States and Mexico? Cross the Royal Gorge Bridge for an exciting afternoon of delicious food and live music on the side of the gorge that actually used to be a part of Mexico!
Full Moon Cinco de Mayo with Moon Veil and The Barefoot Family Caravan
May 5| 9 p.m. | Armadillo Ranch, 962 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Psychedelic rock and promises to howl at the moon — what could be better? Check out the Armadillo Ranch for an evening of live music, drink specials and plenty of reasons to dance.
Mariachi Los Camperos at the Pikes Peak Center
Friday, May 12-13 | 7:30 p.m. | Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
When the Smithsonian Institution has a whole page dedicated to a band, you know you’re in for an epic experience. Mariachi Los Camperos is a three-time Grammy winner that provides an unforgettable show that highlights the best of mariachi. While the band is based in Los Angeles, the origins of the band come from Ahuisculco in Jalisco, Mexico. Tickets are a mere $25, so there’s no reason to miss out.
With so many exciting ways to partake, there’s no way you won’t enjoy this beautiful holiday that celebrates Mexican heritage and pays homage to Mexican-American culture.