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Cinco de Mayo, is not Mexican Independence Day. Actually, it commemorates the victory of an outnumbered Mexican army over the French forces of Napoleon III at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. These days, May 5 has become a celebration of Latino culture.

The Front Range boasts a number of festivals, parades and fun events celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Events are free unless otherwise noted. Here are some of the bigger ones we’ve found.

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There are also dozens of bars and restaurants hosting their own celebrations, with food and drink specials and, sometimes, entertainment. Check your favorite spots. After all, we live in a place that loves to party and Cinco de Mayo is one of the best reasons to do so.

Saturday, May 5

Aurora Cinco de Mayo, noon to 8 p.m. 2018 marks the first Cinco de Mayo for the Aurora community so expect lots of entertainment, food and surprises. Fletcher Plaza, 9898 East Colfax Ave. Aurora.

bartaco’s Cinco de Mayo, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. The infamous bartaco restaurant on Boulder’s west Pearl Street has opened their large patio space the night. Enjoy food, live music and dancing (Salsa, achata, Reggaeton, Timba, Chacha, Zouk, Cumbia). 1048 Pearl St. Boulder.

Castle Rock Cinco de Mayo Street Party, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Downtown Castle Rock gets its fiesta on with free bounce houses, live music, family activities and on site food vendors. Wilcox Street between 3rd and 5th Streets.

Cinco de Mayo Denver Festival, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The annual festival takes over Denver’s Civic Center Park, with more than 350 exhibitors and food vendors. Entertainment on three stages, children’s carnival, parade, chihuahua races, taco eating contest and more.

Fort Collins Cinco de Mayo, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Food, music, Kids Zone, beer & margarita garden, arts & crafts vendors, dancers, bounce houses and much more. Old Town Square at Linden & Walnut St.

Longmont Celebrates Cinco de Mayo, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food, shopping, live entertainment, car show, chihuahua beauty contest, and free family activities. More than 7,000 expected to attend. Held rain or shine. Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont.

New Terrain Brewing Co., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. A Cinco de Mayo Fiesta with special beer releases including a tasty Barrel Aged Anejo Agave Lime Gose-Rita and refreshing Keylargo Keylime Kölsch.

Cascade Crescendo will entertain with their upbeat bluegrass from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Two food trucks on site. 16401 Table Mountain Pkwy, Golden.

Outlets at Castle Rock, noon to 3 p.m. Festivities include food trucks, live entertainment by Ballet Folklorico Baile Caliente, a roving mariachi band and more.

Picnic of the Pig, noon to 8 p.m. A Cinco de Mayo street party with Boulder St. between 15th & 16th closed. Swine-celebrating food & drink can be purchased. Live Music by iZCALLi. Live Luchador Wrestling by Rocky Mountain Pro at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. 5 p.m. & 7 p.m. Face painting for the kiddos. Lola Coastal Mexican, 1575 Boulder St., Denver.

Sunday, May 6

Aurora Cinco de Mayo, noon to 6 p.m. 2018 marks the first Cinco de Mayo for the Aurora community so expect lots of entertainment, food and surprises. Fletcher Plaza, 9898 East Colfax Ave. Aurora.

Cinco de Mayo Carnival, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Family-friendly, community event to raise funds for the North Littleton Promise summer programs. Features more than 25 booths of food, games, and activities, as well as music, dancing, a salsa contest, and raffle prizes. All-access wristbands $10 in advance. Bethany Evangelical Free Church, 6240 S. Broadway, Centennial.

Cinco de Mayo Denver Festival, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The annual festival takes over Denver’s Civic Center Park, with more than 350 exhibitors and food vendors. Entertainment on three stages, children’s carnival, parade, chihuahua races, taco eating contest and more.

Fort Collins Cinco de Mayo, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Food, music, Kids Zone, beer & margarita garden, arts & crafts vendors, dancers, bounce houses and much more. Old Town Square at Linden & Walnut St.

Outlets at Castle Rock, noon to 3 p.m. Shoppers inside the food court will be serenaded by roving mariachis from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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