By Laurie Jo Miller Farr

For music and dancing in the streets, the heart of Cinco de Mayo celebrations in San Francisco is in the Mission District, a magnet for approximately 8,000 people every year. Friday night sunset cruises on the bay and themed cocktails and menus at bars and restaurants offer more opportunities for partying.

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13th Annual Cinco de Mayo Festival
Valencia Street, between 21st and 24th Streets
San Francisco, CA 94110
Date: May 5, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hear the beat of mariachi, salsa and Latin hip-hop at a lively block party marking Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, May 6, 2017 in San Francisco’s Mission District. The admission-free, family-friendly outdoor block party annual event takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. featuring talented artists in traditional Mexican songs as well as salsa, Latin Jazz, and other Latin rhythms. Colorful costumes, swirling skirts, and yummy food are all part of the fun. Bring the kids along to enjoy a kid’s zone with craft activities, a petting zoo, a bouncy castle, and performers doing magic tricks.

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Sangria and a Sunset Cruise
Schooner Freda B, Slip 907
100 Bay St.
Sausalito, CA 94965
Date: May 5, 2017 at 8:05 p.m.

On Friday evening, depart from across the bay to celebrate Cinco de Mayo aboard Schooner Freda B while sipping on delicious Sangria, snacking on fresh ceviche, and catching the sunset at 8:05 p.m. While sailing in San Francisco Bay, your 2.5 hour cruise offers great views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the colors of the setting sun reflected in the glittering city skyline. More details and pricing are found online.

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Cinco de Mayo Sunset Cruise
Rendezvous Charters
Pier 40, The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94107
Date: May 5, 2017 at 6 p.m.

The lovely 90-passenger “Bay Lady” will also be out sailing on San Francisco Bay on the evening of May 5, 2017. She’s the largest US Coast Guard certified schooner in Northern California, where the cockpit is big enough to comfortably seat 60 guests. Depart from the pier near the foot of King Street at 6 p.m. for a Friday night two-hour cruise with a cash bar (don’t forget your I.D.) and complimentary snacks served on board. More details and pricing are found online.

Friends of Ramekins Cinco de Mayo Celebration
Cornerstone Sonoma
23570 Arnold Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476
Date: May 5, 2017 at 4 p.m.

At Ramekins, they capture the essence of Wine Country living in a marketplace of fresh foods, fabulous wines, and good company. Join the fun at the Cornerstone Garden Barn for an indoor/outdoor Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Margaritas and snacks are served in addition to a tamale making demonstration. There’s live music and plenty of fun, all for free on Friday, May 5, 2017 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Register online to attend.

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Copita Tequileria y Comida
739 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 331-7400

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Why wait for National Tequila Day on July 24 when you can have Copita’s famous house margarita with Herradura Blanco, fresh lime juice and agave nectar to celebrate the fifth of May in a place that was once part of Mexico? Or create your own. This is home to the Agave Girls, a club of tequila fans that meets here to get into food pairings and tequila education led by Joanne Weir, PBS chef and co-owner. There are more than 100 tequila brands behind the bar at this authentic Mexican restaurant with outdoor patio facing the bay. Ceviche and handmade corn tortillas for tacos are always top choices.