Upcoming Events: Mucho de Mayo

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As May approaches, more Cinco de Mayo events are announced every day. Here are a few of our favorites.

La Mexicana in Montrose is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. And while the restaurant doesn't normally host a big Cinco de Mayo bash, it's blowing off the roof on Saturday, May 5, with three happy hours throughout the day. In the morning, it's $3 mimosas, $4 margaritas and $5 Bloody Marys from 7 to 9 a.m. At lunch, it's mariachis, a balloon twister for the kids and raspas from noon to 2 p.m. Says owner Zulema Gonzales: "We have this old machine for the ice and we know a lady that makes these amazing syrups for raspas...they are beyond good!"

Later that day, La Mex will host its final happy hour of the day from 4 to 8 p.m. with $2 cans of Tecate, $3 short tequila shots, $4 margaritas, $8 jumbo margaritas and plenty of food specials: $7.95 Messy Nachos (a huge pile of chips, meat, cheese, charro beans), $5 mini tacos and a pound of fajitas for $17.95.

If a street festival for Cinco de Mayo is more your speed, head out into the sunshine that Saturday for the East End Street Fest.

The festival kicks off at noon, with an Art Car parade starting at 12:15 p.m. Although the festival itself is free, booths and food trucks will be selling food onsite. Later that day, in addition to a "best food truck taco" contest judged by local celebrities and politicians, the festival will also host a "best decorated food truck" competition. It's not too late for food trucks to enter the taco or the best decorated contest; head to the East End Street Fest Web site for more details.

And as mentioned last week, El Gran Malo will be hosting a party on its patio that day. The "Big Bad" Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday, May 5, will run from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. FOX's Masterchef contestant Alvin Schultz will be pouring liquid nitrogen-frozen margaritas throughout the day. Karbach Brewing Co. will be pouring its delicious beer. And street tacos will be served outside with chili and garlic-marinated carne asada, grilled onions, peppers and lime. (The full menu will also be available.) Tents with alcoholic snow cones, tequila-soaked frozen fruit and champagne cocktails will also be on hand, as will a DJ and a mariachi band.

Already tired of tequila and margaritas? Then head to Oak Forest wine bar Plonk this coming Sunday, April 29, for its Horseshoe Season Hoedown. The all-day celebration begins at noon and features Texas wine, beer, music and -- of course -- Texas food from hometown-girl-done-good, executive chef Erin Smith. The event is free and will feature samplings from Duchman Family Vineyards and tunes from artists such as Alan Haynes and Clay Farmer.

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