Balboa Park presents one of the region’s largest free Cinco de Mayo celebrations. The family-friendly fiesta includes Mexican-themed music and dance performances, colorful horseback riders, strolling mariachis, a fashion show of traditional Mexican dress, hands-on activity booths for kids, arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, and more! The event culminates with a 5 p.m. concert in Spreckels Organ Pavilion featuring crowd-favorite Jarabe Mexicano, accompanied by the SDSU School of Music Percussion Ensemble.
The popular local ballet folklórico group, La Fiesta Danzantes de San Diego, will kick off the day’s entertainment in the Plaza de Panama at 11:20 a.m., followed by a horseback procession at 12 noon from Escaramuza Charra las Golondrinas and Asociación Charros Herencia Charra.
Additional entertainment in the Plaza is provided by the City Heights Mariachi, Pacific Beat, and the San Diego State University Marching Aztecs Drumline, who will lead festival-goers from the Plaza de Panama to the free concert event featuring Jarabe Mexicano, accompanied by the SDSU School of Music Percussion Ensemble, at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion starting at 5:00 p.m. Jarabe Mexicano will perform their unique, up-tempo style of music, using traditional guitar-like instruments, such as the guitarrón, vihuela, and requinto.
Other highlights of the day include a special fashion showcase of regional styles of dress from Mexico, and Huichol artisans from Nayarit, Mexico, demonstrating various traditional art techniques and a hands-on bracelet-making activity, sponsored by the Mexican Consulate. Additional activity booths will be hosted by XEWT Channel 12, Spanish Village Art Center, San Diego Public Library, the San Diego County Fair, and many others (see list below). The Fab Trailers vintage photo booth will be on hand to help attendees commemorate the special day.
A variety of cuisines from some of San Diego’s best food trucks will also be available throughout the day on the El Prado walkway. In addition, the Prado Restaurant will serve street tacos, margaritas, and cerveza on their Garden Terrace 12:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m., and Panama 66 will offer food specials and Baja beers and wine 10:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
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