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David Lissner
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Five ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Chicago

Pinata cookies

Pinata cookies by Sandra Denneler (SheKnows).

In Mexico, the Fifth of May is a relatively laidback holiday commemorating the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862. But in Chicago, it’s a great excuse for a fiesta. Here are a few ways to celebrate:

  1. Chicago Sones de Mexico Ensemble. At 6 p.m. Saturday, Moe’s Cantina in River North presents the Grammy-nominated folk music ensemble specializing in Mexican “son” music, featuring 25 instruments and four-part vocals. The Dos Equis girls will pass out free Dos Equis gear during the show. All-day drink specials include $6 Dos Equis bottles and $6 Red Pig Mexican Ale bottles. No cover. Reservations recommended.

  2. Pinata cookies. Colorful donkey-shaped treats with a sweet surprise inside. Make your own or order them for $3 each at TipsyCake in Bucktown.

  3. Latin spirits. Taste Food and Wine in Rogers Park hosts a Cinco de Mayo celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Taste and learn about tequilas, mezcal, and Chicago’s favorite Latin brewery, as well as Spanish wines. $10.

  4. Snails. May St. Cafe in Pilsen offers a three-course, $19.95 menu with a choice of scargot with strawberry garlic butter or mini flautas de papa and poblano with avocado and tomatilo sauce; shrimp or chicken enchiladas served with: sofrito rice, Cuban black beans and baby organic vegetables; and ancho-chili chocolate cake or guava-and-jalapeno flan. $5 jalapeno and cilantro May St. margaritas feature as well.

  5. Mexican beer. Certified Cicerone Steve Carnes of Chicago Beverage Systems will lead a cerveza tasting during the Pacifico Tapping Party from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at Cactus in the Loop. Draft Pacifico will be $4 all day.