Cinco de Mayo Party Decorations and Ideas

Cinco de Mayo buffet with sarape tablecloth and bowls of lettuce, chicken, rice, and sour cream

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is a celebration growing more and more popular in the United States. See what it is, how to celebrate, and where to get the best decorations.

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What is Cinco de Mayo?

On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army beat France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of this victory. The holiday is not widely celebrated in Mexico, only in the state of Puebla. They have military parades, Battle of Puebla reenactments, and other festivities. The United States has made it into a celebration of Mexican culture and it has become increasingly popular.

Cinco de Mayo artwork


  • It is not to celebrate independence as many believe. Independence is celebrated in September.
  • It is not a national holiday in Mexico.
  • Puebla celebrates for an entire month, not just May 5th.
  • Mexican Americans in California were the first to celebrate the battle’s victory.
  • A popular dish served is Mole poblano, a dish of chicken or turkey covered in mole (chili pepper, chocolate, and spices).
  • The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration is in Los Angeles.
  • Cinco de Mayo became popular in the 1960s when Chicano activists made more people aware of the holiday.
  • The United States recognized it as a national holiday in 2005 under George W. Bush.
  • President Franklin Roosevelt created the Good Neighbor Policy in 1933 which tried to build relationships between the United States and Latin American countries. This included building stronger cultural ties like this holiday.
  • More people are celebrating each year, including those in Japan, Australia, and other countries.

Where to Buy Decorations

All party stores usually carry Cinco de Mayo decorations. A small selection can be found at most grocery stores that carry party supplies. I picked up all of our decorations at Amazon and Party City.

Cinco de Mayo buffet layout with items pictured labeled for purchase below
  1. Sarape Table Runner- Amazon
  2. Tortilla Warmer- Amazon
  3. Assorted Color Paper Plates- Party City
  4. 12 Piece Tiered Tray Set of Decor- Amazon
  5. Salsa Bowls- Amazon
  6. Mini Sombrero Pinata- Party City
  7. Red, Yellow, and Green Salsa Bowls- Party City or Amazon
  8. Pepper Bowl- Party City or Amazon

What to Serve

Buffets are always a great choice when having a party so everyone can get what they want.

Taco, Nacho, or Burrito Bar- Taco shells, tortillas, chips, queso, rice, sour cream, shredded cheese, taco sauce, tomatoes, jalapenos, lettuce, black beans, refried beans, olives, corn salsa, pico de gallo, and/or guacamole. For the meats, you can serve steak, beef, chicken, shrimp, pork, or fish.

Don’t forget the dessert. Our buffet included churros which were a big hit.

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year?

Check out more dishes to serve for Cinco de Mayo

Beef or Chicken Enchiladas

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

French toast sticks on baking tray

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