World-famous musicians, incredible international acts and the best of local Latino talent join us on our Main Stage at the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. Seven special performances over three days by the Mariachi Ciudad de Guadalajara, joined onstage by the swirling dresses and stomping feet of the Ballet Folklorico Mexico En La Piel, from Forest Grove.
The world-famous Mariachi Ciudad de Guadalajara are giving SEVEN! special performances in three days on the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Main Stage. Mariachi music originated in center-West Mexico between the 18th and 19th century in the state of Jalisco, where Guadalajara is located. For over three decades, 10 of the best Mariachi musicians in the world fly in from the historic Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, Mexico to perform live in Portland.
Joining them daily is Oregon’s own Ballet Folklórico Mexico en La Piel. This local Mexican folk dancer troupe fills the stage with spinning dresses and stomping feet. Ballet Folklorico showcases each area of Mexico and the costumes for the different dances are unique to particular regions. Learning these dances is a means of preserving the essence of the distinct cultures of each region of Mexico and perpetuating them for the benefit of future generations.
NEW! – The Portland Mariachi Youth Celebration at Portland State University (Mar 17) brought together seven youth Mariachi groups from around the Pacific NW. Ten of these students have been selected for their performances and contributions to local youth Mariachi music. These Mariachi students will receive a private session with the Guadalajara Ciudad de Guadalajara. On Saturday, May 5th, between 8pm-9pm, these Mariachi musicians will play together on the main stage in one unforgettable performance.
Fill your eyes, nose and stomachs with the homemade tastes and traditional dishes of Mexico and Latin America. The Fiesta has invited local families and cooks, from the kitchens, restaurants and food carts of Portland, to join us and show off their prize dishes.
Enjoy refreshing drinks and ice-cold beer throughout the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. Our local vendors will be serving up horchatas, tejuínos and aguas frescas. The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta welcomes all adults to drink responsibly and in moderation, and will help everyone have a safe ride home when they leave.
Experience the dazzle of bright and whirling lights, rides of every kind, thrills and games. Funtastic Traveling Shows is just possibly the world’s finest carnival, and its headquarters are right here in Portland, Oregon. Since 1971, Funtastic Shows has been one of the safest, cleanest, most widely-respected carnivals in the West.
Children and families are welcome in our newly-expanded Plaza de Niños. This Fiesta is first a place for children to play and learn about the culture, traditions and crafts of Mexico and our sister city, Guadalajara. Our Plaza de Niños offers our guests the following attractions:
FREE Face Painting
Buy authentic, hand-crafted crafts in the Guadalajara Artisan Village! While exploring beautiful artwork in the open-air market, take advantage of opportunities to meet with the artisans who have traveled all the way from Guadalajara and Tonalá, Mexico to share their talents and sell their goods. Don’t miss the hand-painted facades created by our friend, famed artist from Tonalá, Mariano Palacios.
Cinco de Mayo Lotería – a FREE activity with traditional bingo, prizes and entertainment. Over 150 prizes up for grabs each day, with a top prize package every hour.
Lotería is a game of chance, very similar to Bingo, but using images instead of numbers. Lotería was first brought to Mexico in 1769. In Lotería, the announcer gives an improvised short poem or familiar phrase alluding to the image on the card (e.g. “the coat for the poor” for the image of the sun, or “the one who dies by the mouth” for the image of the fish).
How to play
Each player uses a chip -often a kernel of corn or a bean-to mark the corresponding spot on his or her tabla. The first player to appropriately fill the game board or tabla in a predefined pattern will shout either “Bingo!”or “Lotería!” to win the game and receive the prize
Rip City Boxing will be hosting their 5th Annual Cinco de Mayo Showcase, “Best of the Best” this year. This year’s event will be a 2-day event showcasing the top 4 amateur boxers in pre-selected age/weight classes. This event will have the semi-finals on Saturday and finals on Sunday, with the winner receiving a Mexican themed championship belt. This family friendly event is included as part of the fair’s park entrance fee.
Rip City Boxing
The Cinco de Mayo Showcase is organized by Rip City Boxing, a Portland non-profit organization that fosters youth via discipline, self-respect and accountability through the sport of boxing. Rip City Boxing, a local club for kids age nine to 15, led by head coach James Franco.
A spiritual highlight is the annual mariachi Mass, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 5, in the main tent. Archbishop Alexander Sample will preside and liturgical music and dance will be provided by the internationally known Mariachi Ciudad de Guadalajara and Oregon’s Premier Grupo Ballet Folklórico.
The Mariachi Mass provides a spiritual and cultural aspect to the Cinco de Mayo festival, where positive family values are emphasized and shared by the Hispanic community. Everyone is welcome to attend the Mass, regardless of religious affiliation.
Touch a tortoise and an alligator. See how big a Giant Tegu grows. Look nose-to-nose with a Western Diamondback rattlesnake! The International Reptile Rescue is coming to the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta to introduce their star reptile and insect celebrities. This fully-bilingual, educational experience welcomes children and families to get up close to dozens of lizards, snakes, tarantulas, centipedes and more. Learn about where they live, what they eat, and how neat these critters can be once you get to know them.
International Reptile Rescue
Since the 1970’s, the International Reptile Rescue (formerly Hart’s Reptile World), has been the premier Reptile Rescue Organization and reptile educators. Located here in Oregon, they travel across the nation to rescue and provide sanctuary for reptiles Through educational programs they strive to convey the uniqueness of the reptile kingdom while at the same time providing a sanctuary for the animals.
For the last 27 years, PGSCA, The US Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the city of Portland have been hosting an event where 50 people from up to 40 different countries become citizens of the United States. This year’s event is at the main tent on Friday May 3rd.