Cinco de Mayo — Spanish for the fifth of May — is the annual celebration commemorating the Mexican Army's victory over the French empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It shouldn't be confused with Mexico's Independence Day, which is Sept. 16.
In the United States, the day has become associated with a celebration of Mexican-American culture. Here's a roundup of Cinco de Mayo parties happening around this region Thursday through Sunday, May 2-5. Events are free unless otherwise noted.
LATIN MUSIC CONCERT
» Where: First Baptist Church, 311 N. Thornton Ave., Dalton, Ga.
» When: 6 p.m. Thursday
» For more information: 706-278-2911
L'Abri Orchestra plays music from Latin and South America, including the well-known tango "Por una Cabeza," which has been included in multiple movie soundtracks.
TATTOO SHOP PARTY
» Where: It's My Life Tattoos, 616 S. Glenwood Place, Dalton, Ga.
» When: Begins 3 p.m., Friday-Saturday
» For more information: 706-229-3843
In addition to music, inflatables for kids and food, this party offers 50% off all tattoos booked in advance with a minimum $50 deposit.
CABO DE MAYO
» Where: Bar Louie, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd.
» When: 11 a.m to closing, Friday-Sunday
» For more information: 423-855-4155
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo all weekend with Sammy Hagar's Santo Mezquila (a combination of tequila and mezcal) and weekend specials that include $5 Cinco Ritas, $5 Santo Mezquila shots, two tacos for $5.
CINCO DE CHUY'S
» Where: Chuy's, 2271 Gunbarrel Road
» When: 11 a.m. to closing, Friday-Sunday
» For more information: 423-710-3007
One day isn't enough for a party at this restaurant that serves Tex-Mex year-round, so Chuy's is celebrating all weekend with specials on drinks and appetizers.
Daily specials start with $1 Floaters on Friday. Saturday's event continues the $1 Floaters and adds a dollar discount on Perfect Margaritas.
Saturday's specials carry over to Sunday, when four more specials are added: $5 regular House Ritas, $8 Grande House Ritas, $5 queso or guacamole and a dollar discount on Dos Equis.
RUNNING OF THE CHIHUAHUAS
» Where: First Tennessee Pavilion, 1826 Carter St.
» When: 2 p.m. event starts, 3 p.m. music starts, 6 p.m. dog race, Saturday
» For more information: 423-321-6200
Hit 96's Running of the Chihuahuas has been a Cinco de Mayo tradition for 12 years, growing from a parking-lot race with 12 dogs to more than 750 pint-size competitors that draw crowds as large as 7,000 folks to watch.
Beginning at 3 p.m. a different musical act takes the stage each half hour until race time.
An after-party will be held at 9 p.m. at the Moxy, 1220 King St., with Livvia and Big Al Mack, sponsored by Chattanooga Whiskey.
CINCO DE MAYO IN WEST VILLAGE
» Where: West Village, Chestnut and Pine streets
» When: 4-9 p.m. Saturday
» For more information: www.facebook.com/events/316710139015119/
Family-friendly activities, live music, games, cocktails, food and a laser show.
DERBY DE MAYO
» Where: Chattanooga Whiskey Event Hall, 890 Riverfront Parkway
» When: 4:30-8 p.m. Saturday
» For more information: 423-760-4333
Combine the 144th Kentucky Derby with a Cinco de Mayo celebration and you get Derby de Mayo, a fundraiser to benefit Chattanooga Room in the Inn.
Serving mint juleps and margaritas, this party includes Big Hat and Best-Dressed Gentleman contests as a nod to the Run for the Roses. The fun includes watching the horse race on a big-screen TV while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and silent auction.
Tickets are $75 per person, $550 for a table for eight.
CAVE-O DE MAYO
» Where: The Caverns, 555 Charlie Roberts Road, Pelham, Tenn.
» When: 7 p.m. Saturday
» For more information: 931-516-9724
For the area's only subterranean fiesta, The Caverns underground concert venue has booked Los Lobos for Saturday's show. Los Lobos is on its 45th anniversary tour. San Rafael Band is opening for them.
This event will include "festive libations" and "the world's largest underground pinata," according to organizers.
Tickets are $60 per person, or $40 for standing-room only in the rear of the cave.
For tickets: www.etix.com/ticket/p/8224401/los-loboscaveo-de-mayo-pelham-the-caverns
DALTON BLOCK PARTY
» Where: Crescent City Tavern, 324 S. Depot St., Dalton, Ga.
» When: Noon Sunday
» For more information: 706-529-0467
Family-friendly event includes bounce house for kids, vendors, face painting, mariachi band, food and drinks.
CINCO DE MAYO AT THE COMMONS
» Where: Collegedale Commons, 4950 Swinyar Drive
» When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
» For more information: 423-648-2496
Festive music and a few cervezas for the adults.
CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATION
» Where: Poblano's Mexican Cuisine, 551 River St.
» When: 4-9 p.m. Sunday
» For more information: 423-490-7911
A DJ gets the party started at 4 p.m. at this outdoor party. There will be Cuervo girls providing shots, $2 street tacos, $3 small margaritas, $15 pineapples filled with margaritas, $3 Tequila shots, $2 domestic beers and $3 import beers.
The parking area will be closed, and there will be only one way to enter the site. ID checks will be required at that entrance for a wristband. Security will be provided.
FIESTA AND PLAY DAY
» Where: Harrison Bay State Park, 8411 Harrison Bay Road
» When: 3-6:30 p.m. Sunday
» For more information: www.eventbrite.com/tickets-external?eid=60338888239&ref=amptckt
Sunshine's Adventures sponsors this Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and Play Day. Start the day with a two-hour guided paddleboard adventure on Lake Chickamauga, paddling around Patten Island and exploring the inlets. Afterward, participants will be served a healthy plant-based fiesta with plenty of cool libations.
Cost is $60 per person, which includes the guided and equipped paddleboard adventure, fiesta meal and drinks to wash it down provided by Veganista.Chelle. Notify organizers when making your reservation if you have dietary restrictions or special requests.
A $20 discount is offered to those who bring their own paddling equipment and/or those who prefer not to stay for the fiesta. Contact Sunshine's Adventures directly if you qualify for the discount.
DRINKO DE MAYO
» Where: JJ's Bohemia, 231 E. M.L. King Blvd
» When: 9 p.m. Sunday
» For more information: 423-266-1400
Join the party with music by Ghost Town Remedy, Sunsap, Mythical Motors and Sleazy Sleazy. There's a $5 cover.
VOODOO SLIM CINCO DE MAYO
» Where: El Meson, 2204 Hamilton Place Blvd.
» When: 10 p.m. Sunday
» For more information: 423-894-8726
Voodoo Slim will play for the restaurant's Cinco de Mayo celebration.
— Compiled by staff writer Susan Pierce
RUNNING OF THE CHIHUAHUAS
RUNNING OF THE CHIHUAHUAS" align="left">By the numbers:
1,228 racing chihuahuas
5,526 pounds of chihuahuas (that’s 3,684 burritos or 88,416 servings of nacho chips)
1.44 million ounces of beer
121,634 feet raced (that’s 23 miles or one human marathon)
25 million albums sold
2 number one singles
All distracted by one squirrel
4,904 legs (yes, there have been three-legged chihuahuas race)
2 hall of fame inductees
195 racers are expected, which means 682.5 pounds of chihuahuas in 2019
389 eyeballs (yes, there has been a one-eyed chihuahuas)
Racers from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Virginia
Bands from 3 different countries
One racer from the original 12 is still racing