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Best Ways To Celebrate Cinco de Mayo In San Francisco

By Randy Yagi

Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching and San Francisco is set to host a number of fun-filled events all around the city. This year celebrations might be bigger than ever as this important day in the history of Mexico will be held on a Saturday, which often means far more visitors into the City than on a regular weekday. While many more events could be announced later, the following are some of the best events to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in San Francisco.

Artisanal Craft Agave Tasting
Clift Hotel
495 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA  94102
(415) 775-4700

The luxury Clift Hotel will help get the celebrations in San Francisco started early when it hosts its 5th annual Cinco De Mayo celebration on Friday, May 4. Held between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the gorgeous Velvet Room, this festive Craft Agave event will feature premium tequila and mescal tasting from more than 10 brands, including Casa Noble, DeLeón, Del Maguey and Fortaleza. Advance tickets which range between $39.95 and $49.95 may be purchased through Eventbrite. A DJ spinning the best international sounds will also be on hand. The Clift Hotel is located on Geary Street near Taylor Street, not far from the Curran Theater in Union Square. Parking should be available onsite as well as at covered parking garages on both Geary and Taylor Streets.

Related: Best Places For Corn Dishes In San Francisco

Cinco De Mayo Alley Party
Taverna Aventine
582 Washington St.
San Francisco, CA  94111
(415) 981-1500

Taverna Aventine will once again host its annual Cinco de Mayo Alley Party adjacent to its bar overlooking the Transamerica Pyramid in the Financial District. Featuring live music and DJs, drink specials, a food truck and more, the alley party will be held along Hotaling Place, which will be closed to vehicular traffic. The fun will begin at 4 p.m. and anyone interested in attending can RSVP on Aventine's Facebook page. The popular Italian bar may also offer free registration to the alley party via Eventbrite, with the first 300 registering to receive free VIP entrance to the party.

Cinco De Mayo Festival
Valencia St. between 21st and 24th Sts.
San Francisco, CA  94110
(415) 206-7752

Held in San Francisco's vibrant Mission District, the 14th annual Cinco de Mayo Festival will be the best family friendly event in the City on May 5. Hosted by Mission Neighborhood Centers (MNC), the San Francisco Cinco de Mayo Festival is admission free and will be held along Valencia Street between 21st and 24th Streets from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival will feature a variety of live entertainment who will perform traditional Mexican songs, Latin Jazz and more across two stages and several local vendors will also be on hand to serve great food and unique arts and crafts. The annual festival averages an attendance of 6,000 but could be even more since Cinco de Mayo falls this year on a Saturday. Since parking will be very limited within the area, attendees are urged to take BART, with the 24th Street BART station a short walk away from the festival.

Cinco De Mayo Pub Crawl
Mayes Oyster House
1233 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA  94109
(415) 885-1233

The venerable Mayes Oyster House will host what's billed as the biggest Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl on Saturday, May 5. Featuring $3 beers, cocktails and shots, the event begins with a check in at the Oyster House beginning at 2 p.m. and several popular neighborhood bars will be participating. This includes the Blur Bar and Lounge, McTeague's Saloon, Playland Bar, Vertigo Bar and the Wreck Room. Advance tickets which range from $12 to $20 are available through Eventbrite. Considered to be one of the oldest seafood restaurants in the City, Mayes Oyster House is located on Polk Street between Bush and Sutter Streets. Three parking lots are within a short walk, including the Polk & Bush garage.

MALO Anthology & Friends
Cow Palace
2600 Geneva Ave.
Daly City, CA 94014
(415) 404-4100

The biggest live music event of Saturday evening will be held at the Cow Palace, when MALO Anthology & Friends will appear in a special Cinco de Mayo concert. Featuring original members of the legendary San Francisco-based Latin rock band MALO, the MALO Anthology concert will chronicle the history of this local band that's probably best known for their Top 20 hit from 1972, "Suavecito". Scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. this highly anticipated event will also feature African-American-Filpino Latin soul musician Joe Bataan, R&B funk bands Switch and GQ and electro funk Planet Patrol, among others. General parking at Cow Palace is $15 and preferred parking closer to the venue is $20.

Related: Best Mission Burritos Not In San Francisco's Mission District

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