Cinco de Mayo St. Paul
St. Paul's West Side neighborhood calls its Cinco de Mayo fiesta "Minnesota's Spiciest Celebration" for good reason. Culinary highlights include a jalapeño-eating contest, and food booths offer everything from deep-fried tacos on a stick to Mexican-style roasted corn. Enjoy live Latin, reggaeton and Tejano music, a low-rider car show, mechanical bull rides, the El Grito contest (in which participants try to imitate the traditional shout of the mariachi singer) and, of course, the parade, which begins at Plato Boulevard and Wabasha Street and heads down Cesar Chavez Street. More information.
Kentucky Derby Fiesta
With the Kentucky Derby falling on Cinco de Mayo this year, leave it to the North Star Bartenders Guild to make an all-in-one party out of it. Their Kentucky Derby Fiesta combines iconic drinks from each tradition -- mint juleps and margaritas, respectively -- with a derby viewing party. NSBG's dapper member bartenders will serve extra-fancy versions of each classic cocktail, which are all-you-can-drink and included in the price of the ticket. Be sure to dress the part, be it in a poncho or seersucker suit, sombrero or straw hat.
- 3-9 p.m. Sat. 5/5. Derby at 5:15 p.m.
- Bridgewater Lofts, 215 10th Av. S., Mpls
Local sustainable fashion nonprofit Sol Inspirations has made a goal of putting Twin Cities-based eco-friendly lines in the forefront. With its second annual fashion show, they'll also reveal a new label that certifies eco-friendly goods within the Twin Cities, to be carried at three local retailers. The runway show includes looks from You and Me (Tim and Thom Navarro, Katy Vereide and Deborah Block), Jenny Carle, CounterCouture and more, while jewelry designer and former Fox 9 news anchor Robyne Robinson emcees.
- 3-5 p.m. Sun. 5/6
- Bespoke Hair Artisans, 3918 W. 49 1/2 St., Edina
MayDay Parade & Festival
Of all the Twin Cites' well-loved traditions, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre's MayDay Parade and Festival may be its strangest. The celebration marking the Celtic cross-quarter day (i.e. the day halfway between the solstice and the equinox) begins with a parade, or "walking theatrical performance," with puppeteers, a live orchestra and four larger-than-life papier-mâché puppets that "represent the Prairie, Sky, River and Woods." Traveling down Bloomington Avenue, the festivities culminate in Powderhorn Park with the Tree of Life Ceremony, in which the Sun is paddled across the lake and the Tree of Life is ostensibly awakened to springtime. Um, OK. Regardless of where you fall in the celebration of pagan holidays, the food, music and general people-watching are unmatched. More information.