5 ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Seattle

A mariachi band performs at a Cinco de Mayo party (Photo from Flickr via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28486074@N08/7117217047/">U.S. Army Korea</a>)
A mariachi band performs at a Cinco de Mayo party (Photo from Flickr via U.S. Army Korea)

For an updated list of Cinco de Mayo events in the Seattle area for 2016 click here

We Americans love holidays. So much so that we even borrow them from other cultures so we have an excuse to celebrate.

While many Americans are under the impression that Cinco de Mayo is their southern neighbors’ version of 4th of July, Mexican independence day is not actually until September. Cinco de Mayo is a less celebrated holiday that commemorates the Mexican military’s victory in the Battle of Puebla back 1862.

But here in Seattle, as in the rest of the U.S., those original reasons for celebrating often take a back seat to tacos and tequila. This year you can find everything from 5K races to mariachi performances.

Here are five activities (authentic and less so) in the Seattle area you might want to check out:

Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Jefferson Community Center

From 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Saturday, El Centro de la Raza is hosting its 10th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration at the Jefferson Community center. For no entry cost, enjoy live entertainment, eat traditional food, browse the offerings of local vendors, and peruse through the health and social services fair. The event this year also features a multicultural fashion show, where community members will showcase their traditional clothing. Check out more photos from last years’ El Centro Cinco de Mayo.

Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon, 8K, and Kids Mile

Burn some calories before over-indulging on chips and guacamole by going for a run Saturday in Snoqualmie. Each race starts and ends at Mt. Si High School, looping through the Snoqualmie Valley along the way. The Mt. Si Running Club and Run Snoqualmie is hosting the race for the sixth year in a row. The first race starts at 8:30 a.m.

Fiesta 5K Ole! and Taco Truck Challenge put on by 107.7 The End

Work up an appetite by participating in a 5K run or walk at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Volunteer Park. Upon arrival at the finish line, choose from over 20 local food trucks that await racers with taco-inspired concoctions. While eating their tacos, participants will be entertained with live music and are able to rehydrate with a beverage from the Seafair Beer and Margarita Garden. At the end of the event, one truck will be named the Taco Truck Champion. Admission is free with race registration and $5 at the gate without.

Salsa Social at Century Ballroom

Whip out those dancing shoes and channel your inner sass for a Salsa Social at Century Ballroom on Monday, May 4, where DJ Michael will be playing some Latin tunes from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the West Hall. The cover charge is $8, but no pre-registration is necessary. All ages and levels of experience are welcome to participate.

Cinco de Mayo Boat Party

For those looking for a more glamorous way to celebrate Mexican culture for Cinco de Mayo — or just want an excuse to cruise around Lake Union on a yacht — reserve spots on the Cinco de Mayo Boat Party sailing from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. This party boat is complete with dance floors, DJs, full bar, and party favors. No need to bring a camera, a professional photographer will be on board documenting the all night excursion. Tickets are $20 and available to those ages 21 and over.