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Arts and Entertainment

More Than Tacky Bar Drinks: 5 Cool LA Cinco de Mayo Events

LUCHAVaVOOM.jpg
LUCHA VaVOOM Luchadores. Photo courtesy of LUCHA VaVOOM.
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Cinco de Mayo commemorates a victory by the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is a minor holiday in Mexico, but in the United States, it has evolved into a celebration of Mexican pride and heritage. Regardless of ethnic origin, Cinco de Mayo is heartily embraced by Angelenos. Here are some of the interesting Cinco celebrations going on around town:

Mexican Institute of Sound at the 22nd Annual Fiesta Broadway
Fiesta Broadway is the biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world. This free downtown event runs from 11AM to 6PM on Sunday, May 8 on Broadway between Fifth Avenue and Temple. This year, the free Mexican culture and music street festival features Mexican Institute of Sound's (MIS) Mexico City electronica dub style from 3:15 to 4:15. If you missed hometown heroes Ozomalti at Coachella, they will be taking the Fiesta Broadway from 4:30 to 5:45. You can get more information about the Fiesta Broadway musicians, vendors, and street closures online or via phone at 310-914-0015.

LUCHA VaVOOM's Cinco de Mayan Party
On Thursday, May 5, at 8PM LUCHA VaVOOM is back with their "sexo y violencia" mantra at the Cinco de Mayan party at the historic Mayan Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. The event features masked luchadores, burlesque dancers, donkey photo booth, tamales, tequila, and everything else that belongs in a Mexi-Lucha-Burlesque heaven-on-earth. Tickets are $45 and can be obtained online or in person at Wacko, located at 4633 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz. The Mayan Theatre is located at 1038 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Going to this LUCHA VaVOOM event may entail an encounter with a Craigslist ticket scalper as this party regularly sells out.

Cinco de Mayo with Metalachi
The Roxy isn't really where the cool kids hang out these days, but on Thursday, May 5, the bizarre, so-wrong-that-it's-right, only-in-LA, metal-mariachi hybrid, Metalachi, takes the Roxy stage at 8PM. All of this sounds like a bad idea wrapped in a bad dream, but one look at a YouTube Metalachi clip and you know right away that this North Hollywood band is a perfect, ironically wonderful tribute to an Angeleno-style Cinco de Mayo. There will be taco trucks stationed outside of the venue all night. Tickets are $10 plus a two drink minimum. The Roxy is located at 9009 W. Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Event information and tickets are available online.

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Cinco de Mayo with Backseat Bingo
This is one of those charming hipster-specific events that you know just might be awesome because it takes place in a art-covered dive bar downtown; has short-lived bands that nobody has heard of (like Backseat Bingo, Sundowners, Stab City, and Deadly Weapons); and their outdoor lamp post advertisement posters features hand-made illustrations of snake-charming sexy ladies wearing fishnet catsuits rendered out of black and red Sharpies. The event starts at 9PM at Five Stars Bar, located at 267 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

Cinco de Mayo at the Echo
The Echo's Cinco de Mayo party presents three Mexican-American influenced bands: Calexio, Mariachi Luz de Luna, and Sergio Mendoza y La Orkestra. The Echo can be counted on for a reliably good time, excellent people watching, and decent acoustics. It is probably safe to assume that after a couple of Coronas, those warm brassy and acoustic mariachi sounds can make anyone resonate with nostalgic Cinco pride. The Echo is located in Echo Park at 1822 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Music samples and tickets are available online. Tickets are $17 online, $20 at the door.

Bonus: Mexico Expected/Unexpeted at Museum of Latin American Art
For a quiet, introspective celebration of Mexican pride, head out to the Mexico Expected/ Unexpected exhibit at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach. The curated show aims to breakdown the stereotypes of Mexican art with pieces that celebrate the Mexican diaspora's contemporary art scene with works from Francis Alys, MORIS, Carlos Amoralez, Inaki Bonillas, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Melanie Smith, and many others. Mexico Expected/Unexpected runs through Sunday, May 15. MOLAA is located at 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802. General admission is $9. Additional information can be found online or via phone at 562-437-1689.