Your Last Minute Seattle Cinco de Mayo Celebration Guide!

Although Seattle is pretty far north of the Mexican border, that doesn’t mean we can’t or don’t have any options when it comes to celebrating Cinco de Mayo. If you want to participate in the fun, then you’re in luck! Between cultural events, delicious eats, music and dancing; Seattle still has a lot to offer when it comes to the when, where and how of celebration. And if you’re looking for some (admittedly last minute) ideas for how to spend your Friday, we’ve got just the itinerary for you!

The More You Know

Celebrate in Style! Original Photo here

Celebrate in Style! Original Photo here

The first thing you should do before you celebrate Cinco De Mayo is be sure you know the history behind the holiday. On May 5th 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza helped lead the Mexican Army to a successful victory against the French at the Battle of Puebla, despite the odds being in the French’s favor. Because of this unexpected but huge victory, this date is commemorated.

Cinco de Mayo is not to be mistaken as the Mexican Independence Day (which is actually September 16th), and unlike the Mexican Independence Day, in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated nearly as much or as widely as it is in the United States. Because of its prominence in the U.S, Cinco de Mayo has become much more of a celebration of Mexican-American heritage and culture with the largest celebration taking place in Los Angeles, California.

Local Eats

try the dishes at like Mezcaleria Oaxaca . Photo courtesy of Yelp

try the dishes at like Mezcaleria Oaxaca . Photo courtesy of Yelp

Like most holidays, one of most highly anticipated activities for Cinco de Mayo is…eating! And it makes perfect sense. With guacamole, margaritas, and tacos on the mind, we know you’ll be in search of a place to satisfy these cravings. Luckily, you can support a Mexican owned business like Fogón Cocina Mexicana on Capitol Hill or Mezcaleria Oaxaca in Queen Anne to get your Mexican food fix. Yum!

Or, if you’d rather not brave the crowds, why not try your hand at some traditional Mexican dishes in your own kitchen? Chiles en nogada, enchiladas, tortas pambazos, homemade guacamole? Don’t just drool over it, get cooking! And of course, while you’re enjoying your food, don’t pass up a chance to try this deliciously simple margarita.

Delicious dinner at Fogón Cocina Mexicana - Photo courtesy of Yelp

Delicious dinner at Fogón Cocina Mexicana - Photo courtesy of Yelp

See & Do

Join the Festivities at the Century Ballroom. Photo courtesy of Yelp

Join the Festivities at the Century Ballroom. Photo courtesy of Yelp

Now that you’ve finished your food, you’re probably wondering what to do and where to go next to make the most of your night. Well, do you want to hear a mix of Latin sounds like cha cha, bossa nova, Latin jazz, rumba, son, and salsa? You’re in luck. Alma y Azúcar will be performing in The Royal Room in Columbia City at 8:00pm (doors 6:30pm) for their Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and you won’t want to miss it!

Or are you feeling like you want to get up and move? Then hop on over to Century Ballroom on Capitol Hill for an evening of salsa. Not only do they include a dance lesson for those who may be a little less well-versed in moving their hips, but the cost of the lesson (8:30pm) also covers the charge for you to participate in the dancing afterwards. If dancing the night away sounds like something you’d like, then definitely think of spending your Cinco de Mayo night here!

Celebrate at El Centro de la Raza - original photo here

Celebrate at El Centro de la Raza - original photo here

And what better way to conclude your celebration of Cinco de Mayo than by celebrating at El Centro de la Raza at their 12th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration? There will be live music, traditional food for sale, a bazaar, a desfile cultural (cultural parade), and more! The celebration will happen on Saturday the 6th from 12-4, which means that even if you aren’t able to do everything you want to on Friday (or you did do everything and you still want more), you’ve still got more to look forward to.

However you choose to celebrate, we hope you enjoy yourself as we remember and celebrate this historic win for Puebla! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

-Chelsea Booker, The World is Fun Blog Contributor and Resident Cinco De Mayo Enthusiast

Four ways you have to try Ninkasi’s Believer Double Red Ale

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There’s nothing quite like a seasonal flavor from your favorite brewery. Even better? When it returns the next year.  Back by popular demand, Ninkasi Brewing has released its Believer Double Red Ale, available from now until April.  As an added bonus you can actually say your beer consumption makes the world a better place too, because a portion of Believer sales are going to three different nonprofits: Conscious Alliance, Team River Runner and Women Who Code.  So really, you’re doing them a favor by getting your Believer on.

Personally, I like to hoard enough to last until the next release when I can purchase more like it’s my only shot at surviving through the winter.  So if you’re anything like me, here are the best ways to enjoy your Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale for weeks to come.

1. Kick Gameday up a notch with a classic - Pizza.

While you really can’t go wrong with pizza and beer, drinking a malty beer like Believer is a great way to compliment both the acidity of tomato sauce and a salty, bready, crust.  It’s perfect for when you want to try something different without running the risk of ruining a classic combo.   

2. Try something new with your cheese plate.

Wine isn’t the only drink that goes great with cheese, Believer does too!  In addition to having malty, sweet notes, this red ale also has some earthy and floral hoppiness to it.  A bold flavor like this is best when paired with creamy options like brie or goat cheese.  So the next time you have company over, satisfy - and impress - your beer drinkers with this unique duo. 

3. Add Believer to your main course: Pork, lamb, and duck.

Yup, when it comes to a great dinner pairing you’ve got a wealth of options to choose from.  For the same reason that porkchops and applesauce pair well together, the fig and date notes in Believer also bring out the best in a lamb, duck, or pork dinner. 

4. Save the best for last and pair Believer with dessert.

One of the best parts of Believer Double Red Ale is that it also has subtle hints of caramel, toffee, and chocolate.  So which desserts do you have to try it with?  Toffee and chocolate of course!  Luckily that’s a combination that’s not only delicious but easy to find whether your dessert preference is ice cream, candy bars, or cookies.  Best of all, because of the hoppiness and fruit notes, your tastebuds won’t be overpowered by sweetness.  Instead, what you’re left with is a perfect balance.  

A beer that can literally last you from appetizers to dessert?  It’s a must try.  Plus, out of the three nonprofits Ninkasi Brewing is donating to, you actually get to vote for the organization you want to see benefit the most.  It’s a win-win for your tastebuds and for giving back.

Mariah Acuff, is a Blogger for The World is Fun and our Resident Red Ale Ambassador

Best Places to Celebtate Mardi Gras in Seattle

Beignets at Restaurant Roux. Image courtesy of their instagram

Beignets at Restaurant Roux. Image courtesy of their instagram

Ah, Mardi Gras! A time to celebrate and have a good time with all! Putting together a theme party is definitely one of our favorite things - but sometimes, having someone else to take the reins so you can just enjoy some eats is equally awesome! If you want to get a taste of Mardi Gras celebrations in Seattle, here are some great local spots that fit the mask:

Restaurant Roux in Fremont:

you might remember Restaurant Roux from Bacon Eggs and Kegs (which is coming up again next weekend!!!) -  they make a mean brunch and we can highly recommend the Hush Puppies and Biscuits and gravy!

Toulouse Petit in Queen Anne:

With Chicory Coffee and Beignets on the menu, this popular brunch spot is also a great place for Gumbo and a hurricane if the evening is more your speed.

Marcela’s Creole Cookery in Pioneer Square:

Marcela's is responsible for the best smells Pioneer Square has to offer. just around the corner from the pergola Marcela's is a hot spot for a spicy Cajun feast!

The Cajun Crawfish in Beacon Hill:

The Cajun Crawfish specializes in Viet-Cajun cuisine. With tons of amazing seafood options and an entire menu section dedicated to fried delicacies (even frog legs!)  you can't go wrong here!

Jude’s Old Town in Rainier Beach:

If you want to have Beau's Gumbo and your fellow diners are more of a mac-n-cheese crowd -  Jude's has you covered. With Creole classics like Gumbo and less adventurous options like burgers on the menu, this one is sure to make everyone happy!

Whether you decide to go out to one of these fabulous places, or keep it a chill at home, keep the Mardi Gras motto in mind: “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (AKA: Let the good time roll!)

- JoAnn Stein, The World is Fun Social Media Coordinator and Gumbo Enthusiast