May 5th marks the date in 1862 when an outmanned, overmatched Mexican militia succeeded in crushing Napoleon’s French army at the Battle of Puebla.

Today, Cinco de Mayo is recognized mostly in the U.S. as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride (Mexican Independence Day is celebrated Sept. 16).  Throughout SW Michigan, cultural celebrations of food, entertainment and fact sharing will offer will fill the weekend. Check for events near you:

Los Bandits at The Union

What: Kalamazoo Tex-Mex band Los Bandits of Michigan playing blend of R&B, gospel, country, rock, norteño, and tejano music
When: 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: The Union Cabaret & Grille, 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall
Cost: Free
Contact: 269-384-6756

 Rugger’s Up & Under

What: Kalamazoo punk rock band Rudy’s Broken Leash, with .50 cent tacos and specials on Mexican beer
When: All day, with music at 9 p.m (in Boomerang’s)
Where: Rugger’s Up & Under/Boomerang’s, 711 W. Michigan Ave.
Contact: 269-373-1412

Wayside West

What: Kalamazoo country band Bronk Bros.
When: Doors open at 11 a.m., music at 3 p.m.
Where: Wayside West, 3406 Stadium Drive
Contact: 269-375-1930


Kalamazoo Salsa

When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday (free lessons at 10 p.m.)

Where: Blue Dolphin, 502 S. Burdick St.
Cost: $5, ladies free all night (ages 18 and older)

Cinco de Mayo at the Globe Theatre

What: DJ Tropicz spinning Top 40 and Latin hits
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Globe Theatre, 241 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
Cost: Free

Old Burdick’s

What: Taco and margarita bar from 5-9 p.m. and a Most Interesting Man in the World contest, where people are encouraged to dress like the Dos Equis man and win prizes.

Where: Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill, 100 W. Michigan Ave. (other parties at two other Old Burdick’s locations)

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Contact: 269-343-0032,

Mariachi band at Los Amigos

When: 8 p.m. to close Saturday
Where: Los Amigos, 3317 Stadium Drive
Contact: 269-532-1170



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