DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Cinco de Mayo, otherwise known as May 5, tends to be less about the commemoration of the Mexican army's victory over the French forces of Napoleon III, and more about the killer drinks and party atmosphere celebrated at area bars.
What's meant to honor the Battle of the Puebla on May 5, 1862 has turned into an ode to tasty tacos, massive margaritas and mariachi magic. A sampling of spots to celebrate the holiday follows, though feel free to let us know any we've missed.
Avocados, Fishkill: Expect food and drink specials and an all out party atmosphere. Go: 213 Route 82, (845) 896-3020, www.avocadosfishkill.com/ .
Baja 328 Tequila Bar Southwest Grill, Beacon: This tequila bar will be partying the day away thanks to spicy acoustic music from James Patrick and I from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will also be drink and food specials. Go: 328 Main St., (845) 838-2252
Cafe Maya, Fishkill: Yes, there's a location in Wappingers Falls but it's this location that goes all out complete with a party tent outside, a taco stand, mariachi bands tons of prizes and giveaways. The action starts around 2 p.m. Go: 448 U.S. 9, (845) 896-4042, www.mayacafecantina.com/ .
Gaby's Café, Mexican Bar & Grill, Rhinebeck: Expect sample tequila shots, a special menu and a live mariachi music playing from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Not to mention fresh guac and frosty margaritas. Go: 6423 Montgomery St., Suite 7, (845) 516-4363, www.gabyscafe.net/ .
Juan Murphy’s, Poughkeepsie: Drink specials and frozen margaritas are on tap for Cinco de Mayo along with a special food menu (think different flavors of tacos and other Spanish-style/Mexican entrees). Mariachi music will start around 4 p.m. Cap off the festivities at 9 p.m. with karaoke. Go: 796 Main St., (845) 473-1095, www.juanmurphys.com/ .
Santa Fe, Tivoli: Mexican staples and a lively atmosphere define Santa Fe where Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in style. Go: 52 Broadway, (845) 757-4100, www.santafetivoli.com/ .