Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Portland

When it comes to celebrating Cinco de Mayo, Portland goes all out. From the biggest cultural festival of the year on the waterfront, to restaurants and bars, there's plenty of ways to celebrate the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

The biggest, most popular Cinco de Mayo event in Portland is the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. It also happens to be the largest multicultural festival in the state of Oregon. Held each year at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Oregon, the fiesta runs May 5-8, so you can head over on Mother's Day weekend this year.

The festival includes entertainers from Mexico, like the Mariachi de Ciudad Guadalajara from Guadalajara and Portland's local Ballet Folklórico Mexico en La Piel. There's also Lucha Libre, amateur boxing and a bunch of other entertainers performing.

For the kids, there are carnival rides and Dia de los Muertos face painting and a bunch of free activities, while grownups may be more interested in checking out the Artisan Village.

If you prefer your Cinco de Mayo to be a little more active, then join the Cinco de Mayo race in downtown Portland. T-shirts, running, cider, music, food and more are all available at one of downtown Portland's last events. The races begin and end in Pioneer Square and feature all kinds of activities and prizes.

Portland has a shocking number of Mexican restaurants, from the higher-end Autentica (get the goat) to quick taquerias, like Taqueria Nueve. And don't forget to try a margarita, sangria, or just do some shots to take advantage of the occasion. Portland is all about food and drink trends, so if you're feeling adventurous, skip the tequila you know so well and try some mezcal, another agave spirit being served in spots like Hotel deLuxe's Driftwood Room.

Carly Zinderman is a freelance writer from Los Angeles that currently spends her time exploring Portland. She has written for many websites on topics including travel, food and drink.