Early Cinco: Olvera Street Celebrates | NBC Southern California

Early Cinco: Olvera Street Celebrates

The tune- and food-filled party starts at the end of April.

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    Cinco de Mayo gets an April start at Olvera Street. The weekend-long celebration, which marks the 1862 Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla, happens on April 30 and May 1. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

    One of our city's most historic districts possesses a profound sense of the passing of time, a trait many landmarks naturally have.

    Which is to say this: When Olvera Street marks a major occasion, the purveyors and performers don't stick to a few hours of celebrating. Rather, the party is likely last for a number of days.

    There's nothing not to like about this take on time's passing, especially when Cinco de Mayo arrives. To honor the holiday, which commemorates Mexico's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, the shops and restaurants of the thoroughfare will start the festivities early, and renew them again when May 5 arrives.

    May 5, by the by, is a Thursday in 2016, so look for the holiday happenings to grandly unfurl the weekend before the actual date. That's Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, two days that will see a history-tinged host of to-dos, from mariachi performances to folklorico dance presentations to the booths found near the plaza.

    The goings-on will also fill time, in the sense that each day will be out-sized, clock-wise: 11 a.m. to 9 o'clock are the scheduled Cinco hours for both weekend days.

    But if observing this venerable occasion ahead of May 5 isn't in the cards for you, fret not: Olvera Street will bring back the fiesta spirit on the actual date.

    The to-dos will be threaded through with tradition, as befits a commemoration that has its roots in the 19th century. As with all Olvera gatherings, it is free to attend, but make sure you've got some cash for tamales and margaritas and paletas and icy horchata, which will hit the sweet spot on the sunny, April-into-May weekend.

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