Aye Caramba! Can you believe it's already May so whether you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo or just looking for a reason to mix up some margaritas, a Mexican Fiesta themed party is always a sure thing. Casual, easy and inexpensive to throw, your guests will be shouting “Ole, Ole” with these festive ideas.
Cinco de Mayo Decorations
It’s hard to have too many decorations with this theme and you can make it look fabulous and authentic without having to use the typical plastic and foil decorations you usually find at your local party store. For this party, mix brightly colored linens, like this red runner accented by brown and chartreuse napkins. Better yet, if you have a serape around the house from your last trip to Mexico this also works great as a tablecloth or runner. If you’ll be entertaining a lot of guests and will have several tables, try using burlap for your tablecloth. The rough and natural texture is the perfect neutral base for all the color that you’ll be adding with these decorations. To add an extra punch; colored glass votives, mixed with terracotta votives and tin luminarias will help set the mood once the sun sets.
Cinco de Mayo Drinks
You’ll undoubtedly have a bar, so make sure to decorate it, as well. Search your kitchen for ceramic dishes in various bright colors that you can fill with lime wedges (don’t forget a bowl for the salt or sugar rimmers) to go with the margaritas you’ll be serving up. If you don’t want to get stuck at the bar all night mixing batch after batch of margaritas; pre-mix the margaritas and store them in your refrigerator. Let guests serve themselves to refreshments. Set out self-serve containers, such as a large punchbowl and a spigoted glass jar filled with sangria garnished with peaches. Be sure to offer a non-alcoholic alternative for the non-drinkers.
Consider having a tequila shot bar. It’s a fun way to get people mingling, and even more fun to watch as they dance and sing the night away.
Shop your local hardware store for galvanized buckets; large enough to fill with cervezas and ice. Pick up several of these so your guests can load them up and take them to wherever they might be hanging out.
Another fun décor idea is to use hay bales as seating and drape serape blankets or brightly colored fabrics in various patterns over them.
Whether it’s a sit down dinner or buffet, make the table a show stopper as well. For this event we’ve used natural woven napkin rings and festive sombreros (nothing says Fiesta like a sombrero…Arriba, arriba!) Add a touch of elegance with a couple of standout pieces, like this red candelabra which is paired with some great luminarias. Get creative with your place cards; for this particular party we used plastic red chili peppers to help our guests find their place at the table but you can also use the real thing provided the weather isn’t too muggy. Terracota votives (filled with mini cacti or succulents) make a great favor for your guests and ensure your guests will always remember this festive Baja inspired bash.
Cinco de Mayo Menu
What to serve? For starters, greet your guests with refreshing Mango Margaritas, chips & salsa with mango guacamole (easy to make just chop and mix together the following: 2 avocadoes, 3 heaping tablespoons cream cheese, 1/2 lime, 1/2 white onion, and 1 mango). In the spirit of keeping it festive, serve the chips in a sombrero; simply place them around the rim of the hat. As for dinner, keep it simple and serve mini tacos and tamales, or if you are feeling a little more adventurous, serve up fajitas family style. Once again your kitchen is probably a great place to find colorful bowls to use for the condiments (guacamole, sour cream and cheese). Muy buena comida (a very yummy meal).
No Fiesta would be complete without the music, so download music by Carlos Santana & the Gypsy Kings or hire mariachis for the night. Guests will feel like they just arrived in Mexico. As a parting gift, give your guests chiclets gum; place them in a bowl so people can grab them on their way out the door.
This Mexican fiesta es muy bueno!!