Cinco de Mayo has become one of the city’s largest cultural events — thanks in large part to MEXAM Fest and the SF Cinco De Mayo festival. This year, America’s oldest continuous sporting event also happens to fall on the same day, which means May 5th, 2018 will be a full day of revelry whether you’re wearing a seersucker suit and cheering on horses or eating tacos and dancing to mariachi music.
To celebrate both Cinco de Mayo and the 144th Annual Kentucky Derby, we rounded up the can’t-miss events happening in and around San Francisco on May 5th. Choose an event, grab your tickets if necessary, and get ready for a day of fun. Cheers!
Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Valencia Street
Photo courtesy of Katia Fuentes via San Francisco Cinco de Mayo Festival
Produced by Mission Neighborhood Centers, the annual San Francisco Cinco de Mayo Festival is a family-friendly celebration in the Mission District. Offering a diverse array of Mexican and Latino foods, live music performances, dance and artistry, fun is promised for all ages! The event is a part of MEXAM Fest, which is happening May 1 – 8, so you can celebrate Mexican culture all week!
Saturday, May 5, 7:15 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Golden Gate Fields
Golden Gate Fields is the Bay Area’s best location for horse racing, so it makes sense that it would be the best place to celebrate Derby Day. Join the fun with on-site racing and the screening of the Kentucky Derby. Call (510) 559-7402 to make your reservation, and don’t miss the Kentucky Derby VIP Cigar Bar for an exclusive experience.
Saturday, May 5, 12 – 7 p.m. | Jack London Square
In partnership with TURFinc, Jack London Square is hosting the inaugural Cinco de Mayo Dance Festival on Saturday afternoon! The free festival features turf battles hosted by Chuy Gomez, Randy McPhly and Johhny5 with live music from DJ NiQ and Freddy Flowpez as well as a separate dance competition that will be open to the public. In addition to dancing, you can enjoy live Latin performances, live painting, BMX stunts by BmxTURF, prize giveaways and so much more.
Saturday, May 5, 12 – 4 p.m. | Pier 3
This daytime Cinco de Mayo boat party is complete with live music from seven different artists on two separate floors and bars available on multiple decks. The boat starts boarding at noon and tickets are just $35 – $45 so buy yours today.
Saturday, May 5, 1 – 6 p.m. | General’s Residence at Fort Mason
The Guardsmen are celebrating May 5th with their sixth annual Kentucky Derby party at the General’s Residence in Fort Mason. Catch the action on big screens throughout the venue, and keep the fun going with live music, high-end bars, charcuterie and snacks, free Rocky Patel cigars, lawn games, and prizes for the best dressed and the best hat! Purchase your tickets here.
Saturday, May 5, 1 – 6 p.m. | Boardroom SF
The 7th Annual North Beach SF Kentucky Derby Party is getting a twist this year. Celebrate Cinco de Derby at Boardroom SF with mint juleps, margaritas, beer and more as the 144th Run for the Roses plays on the big screens. There will be prizes for best hat, best dressed and more, so be sure to dress in Derby style!
Saturday, May 5, 1 p.m. – 2 a.m. | Elixir
In San Francisco’s second oldest saloon location, Elixir is combining Mexican traditions with an old-fashioned Derby Day dress up. Drink specials will continue from party kick-off and all the way until closing and they include tequila, Margaritas, bourbon, whiskey and Mint Juleps. There will be an award for Best Cinco de Derby Hat as chosen by the bartenders so get yours ready, get there before Derby start at 3:46 then keep the party going into the night!
Saturday, May 5, 1 – 5 p.m. | Barrel Head Brewhouse
The nonprofit Golden Gate Australian Football League is celebrating the Derby with a traditional party complete with fabulous hats, seersucker suits, best-dressed contests, drink specials and raffle prizes. Join the fun at Barrel Head Brewhouse this May 5th!
Saturday, May 5, 2 – 10 p.m. | Mayes Oyster House
The biggest Cinco De Mayo pub crawl in San Francisco is taking to the streets once again this May. The Kentucky Derby will be on at the bars and the drinks will be flowing, so buy your tickets, check in on the day of the crawl at Mayes Oyster House, and get ready for a great day! RSVP on Facebook for event updates.
Saturday, May 5, 2 – 8 p.m. | The Holy Cow Nightclub
The Holy Cow Nightclub is turning into a dayclub in honor of Cinco de Mayo. This 21+ event requires fashionable attire and includes music, a taco cart pop-up, tequila specials and dance-offs. If you RSVP to the guest list, admission is free before 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 5, 2:30 – 5 p.m. | The Great Wall of Oakland
Fiesta Sin Fronteras is Oakland’s multi-day cultural event centered around the Cinco de Mayo holiday. In celebration of Oakland’s connection to Latin America and the immigrant cultures that keep that connection alive, you can enjoy DJs and music, BANDALOOP performances, dance classes, a kid’s craft table, and so much more.
Throughout the weekend, Fiesta Sin Fronteras is teaming up with more than 15 local restaurants for Dining For Justice. Each venue will offer their own unique cocktails and dishes from May 4 – 6, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Centro Legal de la Raza and other immigrant rights organizations. Check out the event on Facebook for more details.
Saturday, May 5, 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. | Northstar Cafe
The Barcrawlerz Cinco de Drinko bar crawl is just $10 and offers cover-free admission to all the participating bars and plenty of drink specials once you get inside. Check-in is at Northstar Cafe and the fun continues from there!
Saturday, May 5, 5 – 8 p.m. | Cavallo Point: The Cooking School
The Cooking School at Cavallo Point is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with an educational taco fiesta. The hands-on class will cover how to make homemade tortillas as well as an array of fillings, salsas and toppings to satisfy all your cravings. For $90 per person, you can register online here.
Saturday, May 5, 6:15 – 9 p.m. | Schooner Freda B
This Cinco de Mayo sunset sail on The Schooner Freda B includes housemade Sangria and savory snacks. Your first glass of sangria is included in the ticket price, and the cash bar will offer California craft beer, Sonoma and Napa Valley wines, sodas, French press coffee, hot chocolate, teas and light snacks. Buy your tickets here.
Saturday, May 5, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. | Press Club
LAM is a private community of professionals who love Latin American culture. For Cinco de Mayo, they’re celebrating at the Press Club with a live mariachi band and DJ C Bass. Tickets are $20 online and $25 at the door so buy yours today!
Sunday, May 6, 9 a.m. | Lake Merritt
Benefitting the educational programs of the Spanish Speaking Citizens’ Foundation, this race will take runners around the beautiful Lake Merritt, one of the oldest and most historic run courses in Northern California. Awards will be given to the top finishers in eight different age groups, ranging from 10 years and under to 80 years and over. Register online today!
Sunday, May 6, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. | SoMa StrEat Food Park
Image courtesy of SoMa StrEat Food Park
If anyone knows how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, it’s SoMa StrEat Food Park. Lucha Libre Taco-Con is returning with tacos from local San Francisco vendors, a spectacular Mexican wrestling showdown, cervezas, micheladas and housemade sangrias. Kids five years and younger are admitted for free, but you can buy your tickets in advance online.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Whether you choose a fiesta, a Derby party or a combination of both, have a safe and fun May 5th!