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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Name — 21 Tips for a Fine Fiesta

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
21 Tips for a Fine Fiesta

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "the fifth of May") commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, when Mexican troops defeated Napoleon's invading forces. Celebrate the day with your own Mexican festival. Here are 21 party tips to inspire you.

Two to three weeks before the party

    * Invite your guests to go "South of the Border" with travel brochures for Mexico. Replace the travel information inside the brochure with your own party details
    * Send a small "God's Eye" decoration (most craft books show how to make them from yarn and craft sticks), with your party information attached on a small card.
    * Ask your guests to come dressed in Mexican costumes.

A few hours before the party

    * Decorate with lots of colorful crepe paper in the colors of the Mexican flag — red, white and green.
    * Mix red, white and green paper plates on a buffet.
    * Wrap red plastic cutlery in white napkins and fasten the bundle with green curling ribbon.
    * Illuminate your entry walkway with red, white and green luminarias.
    * Hang a piñata filled with candies and presents from the ceiling.
    * Put Mexican rugs, ponchos and flags on the wall, or hang travel posters of Mexico.
    * Place sombreros on the floor, and colorful fans at each place setting.

The party begins, welcome guests

    * Set the mood by playing Spanish-language music, spirited guitar instrumentals, or mariachi tunes in the background.

Play games and activities

    * Blindfold guests and have them break the piñata with a baseball bat or broomstick.
    * Play Charades in Spanish, or test everyone's Mexican history knowledge with a trivia quiz.
    * Hire a Spanish-language singer to serenade your guests during mealtime.
    * Do the Mexican Hat Dance.

Share refreshments and cake

    * Mexican food is a must at a Cinco de Mayo festival. You can have it catered or ask each guest to bring a dish.
    * Have everyone join in on the cooking of a big Mexican dinner including a taco or enchilada casserole.
    * Set up a make-your-own taco bar with hard tacos, ground beef, shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, chilies, olives, sour cream and salsa.
    * Serve Mexican beer and nachos with salsa as appetizers while dinner is cooking.
    * For dessert, make flan