May 2, 2018 Events

11 Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Omaha This Year

We know that summer doesn’t officially start until late June, but Cinco de Mayo just seems like the first real celebration of the season. It’s the perfect excuse to grab your friends, find a sunny patio and catch up over a few tacos and margaritas.

Of course, Omaha goes all out for this fun occasion. If you’ve lived here for more than a year, you probably noticed that on the fifth day of May, the streets of downtown fill with mariachi bands, colorful dancers, food vendors, carnival rides and more for one of the biggest celebrations of Latin American culture in the Midwest. We definitely recommend stopping by, but if you can’t make it to the festival, there are several other ways to celebrate! Here are a few of our favorites.


Celebrate at the Cinco de Mayo Festival

Cinco de Mayo Omaha

Photo courtesy of Ramon Amoya via Cinco de Mayo Omaha

This grand celebration of Latin American culture is actually one of the biggest festivals year-round in the Midwest — and it’s definitely the most popular way to celebrate the holiday in Omaha.

The festivities will commence with live music from Montez de Durango on Friday night on the main stage at 24th & L streets, a block party and carnival rides until 10:30 pm. The main event is on Saturday, and will start at 10 am with the awe-inspiring grand parade down 24th street. Huge crowds are expected to cheer on the floats, marching bands and unique entertainers — and representatives from our own 35Dodge Office will be there as well. Afterward, enjoy the beer garden and carnival and dance the day away with live music on three stages.


Meet the New Miss Cinco

Miss Cinco

Photo courtesy of Cinco de Mayo Omaha

Every year during the Cinco de Mayo festivities, a new queen is crowned! All Miss Cinco contestants must be of Hispanic descent and speak both English and Spanish — and they all put a lot of work into the competition. Age groups range from Little Miss (ages 5-8) to Miss (ages 14-19), and spectators are welcome to join in the fun by cheering on all of the ladies. Don’t miss it!


Attend Mariachi Mass on Sunday

There’s no better way to attend Sunday Mass! The unique outdoor service will take place on the main stage of the festival grounds (on 24th Street), and will feature liturgical music led by a mariachi band and Assumption-Guadalupe Catholic Church. If you still have the energy for it, the Cinco de Mayo festival and carnival will continue after mass concludes.


Cheer on the Boxers at the Cinco De Mayo Victory Boxing Showdown

Head to Omaha South High School for this celebratory competition featuring Junior Olympic State tournament contenders! The event will include 15 official fights as well as some fun, local non-tournament fights. Admission is just $10 for adults and $5 for kids over the age of 5 (ages 5 and under are free), and all proceeds will benefit the non-profit Victory Boxing Club.


Margarita Hop


Photos courtesy of Mula and Jake Dawson

We are lucky to live in a town with bartenders that know how to mix an excellent margarita. From Hook & Lime to Julio’s, Omaha is home to a large number of taquerias and cantinas perfect for this occasion. We rounded up the 13 best places to get a margarita in Omaha to help you on your search — but remember to sip responsibly!


Go on a Taco Hunt

Maria Bonita

Photo courtesy of Maria Bonita

We consider tacos to be one of the primary food groups. On Cinco de Mayo, start the morning off with breakfast tacos and hunt for more savory options throughout the day! There are enough tacos in Omaha to satisfy any taste preference, but here are 12 of our favorite local taquerias in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area to get you started. Bon Appétit!


Marvel at Latin Culture and Artwork at Omaha’s Museo Latino

El Museo Latino is one of Omaha’s most celebrated landmarks, and for good reason. The museum’s mission is to strengthen the artistic and creative culture of the Greater Omaha area, and it does so by showcasing gorgeous traditional artwork from local Latin American artists. The exhibits rotate frequently but could include anything from feather art to show-stopping photography.


Stop by Derby de Mayo

Derby De Mayo

Graphic courtesy of Jerry’s Bar

This year, the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo fall on the same day, which means you’ll have to fit two days of celebrating into one! Stop by Jerry’s Bar, where there will be live streaming of the race, an outdoor beer garden and drink specials (including $5 mint juleps).


Wear Your Best Hat for the Derby Day Contest

Head over to the Derby Day festivities at Horsemen’s Park, where you can enjoy racing and the Derby projected on a giant screen. Don’t forget to wear your best Derby hat, because the winner of the contest will walk away with a good chunk of change!


Celebrate at Roja Mexican Grill

Roja Mexican Grill will throw a little Cinco de Mayo party of their own, opening up a beer garden for a full day of celebrating. There will also be fun prizes, delicious tacos and bountiful margaritas, so don’t miss out!


Salsa the Night Away at the Omaha Children’s Museum

Omaha Children's Museum

Graphic courtesy of the Omaha Children’s Museum

Each year, the Omaha Children’s Museum hosts a fabulous fundraiser complete with fun games, dancing, an incredible meal and a signature drink. And since the event falls on May 5 this year, there will be a few elements of Cinco de Mayo woven into the menu, as well as a bit of salsa dancing. If that isn’t enough to convince you, all proceeds will benefit the museum — a treasured Omaha landmark that dedicates itself to community growth and enrichment!


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

How will you be celebrating? Share your recommendations with us in the comments!

May 2, 2018 Events
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