Cinco de Mayo (“Fifth of May” in Spanish) has become a big holiday here in Los Angeles, with street festivals and many bars and restaurants throwing their own individual parties. The world’s largest Cinco de Mayo party is Fiesta Broadway, and it draws close to a half million people to the streets of Los Angeles. Here’s a guide to celebrating Cinco de Mayo at Fiesta Broadway:
Fiesta Broadway Billed as the world’s largest Cinco De Mayo festival, Fiesta Broadway closes down one of the largest streets in downtown Los Angeles for a full day. It’s held a week before Cinco De Mayo, this year on April 27, 2014. The event goes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It has food, all kinds of vendors and booths and several stages with Latino artists performing. The 2014 edition will mark the 25th annual Fiesta Broadway celebration and it’s interesting as the area, Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, has been undergoing a huge renovation and gentrification over the past few years. What has for decades been the center of Hispanic culture and commerce in Los Angeles is becoming a prime (and pricey) retail and residential area, populated by non-Hispanics.
Getting there Parking can be limited and traffic is also usually backed up because of the street closures. The Metro Red Line train has two stops, 4th Street / Pershing Square and Civic Center within easy walking distance of the event.
What to do During the fun, don’t miss the Grand Central Market at 3rd and Broadway, an old-fashioned food market with some delicious food stalls. My son has taken me here several times and we always find a great meal. It can be a good place to escape the crowds. The Bradbury Building also at 3rd and Broadway is one of Los Angeles’ oldest office buildings and was featured in the movie Blade Runner.
Where to stay For those looking to stay overnight on Broadway, the new Ace Hotel at 9th and Broadway has just opened. The boutique hotel is housed in one of Broadway’s historic theaters and is the first hotel to open on this trendy, newly developed street.
What is Cinco de Mayo Mainly a holiday celebrated in America by Mexican-Americans, the holiday originated with a victory by the Mexican army over the French army in the 1800s. Knowledgeable celebrants should note it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is September 16th. More important than the history, the holiday today is about celebrating Mexican culture, cuisine and alcoholic beverages and it’s a great day to go out and have some fun.
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