Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo Events. Cinco de Mayo (which actually means May 5 in Spanish) is always a Smoky Mountain special event and is probably one of the most misunderstood Mexican holidays. Spoiler alert- it is not Mexico’s Independence Day which falls on September 16. This event has become more of an American holiday than a Mexican one and most non-Mexicans have no idea about the day’s history. In this country the date celebrates food, music and ethnic drinks, along with a dash of Mexican culture. For our Southern neighbor, Cinco de Mayo is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is called ‘El Día de la Batalla de Puebla’, which means The Day of the Battle of Pueblo. And, according to Carlos Tortolero, president of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, it was definitely an unexpected victory when the Mexican army defeated French troops who were there to collect on war debts that Mexico was having difficulty repaying to European countries, Throughout centuries Mexico has been invaded by many countries, but Cinco de Mayo celebrates the day Mexico won the battle! So, get your party on, grab some great food and drinks and seek out a Mariachi band. Que vivas durante todos los dias de tu vida (May you continue to live all the days of your life!). Here are some great Cinco de Mayo events for which ever side of the Smokies you will be on!
Gatlinburg, Tennessee celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a weekend-long party dubbed the Cinco de Loco Tequila Crawl and Fiesta!
The party, which begins Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 735 Parkway in Gatlinburg, is scheduled from 7 p.m. til 1 a.m. The fun begins at either Crawdaddy’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar or Puckers Sports Bar and Grill, and the crawl ends at Loco Burro Fresh-Mex Cantina. Tickets (which cost $40, and are available at the event) include a keepsake wristband (which also entitles the wearer to special drink prices on Sunday); a shot glass necklace; t-shirt; a shot of tequila at participating restaurants; a house-made margarita at Loco Burro Fresh-Mex Cantina; discounted tequila and margaritas, and a chance to try your luck at the Loco Piñata Bash where a lucky hit could break a piñata filled with cash, drink vouchers, and more. Catch sight of the famous Loco Burro around town- snap a selfie, post to Facebook or Instagram, #Tag Loco Burro, Fresh-Mex Cantina and show it to your server to enjoy a free small queso.
Dollywood Welcomes Wildwood Grove Guests beginning May 2019. This is sure to be a great year for America’s favorite theme park. The Wildwood Grove will boast six new themed rides, the amazing Wildwood Tree, outdoor water play zone, four new Woodland characters to interact with and a new restaurant.
Dollywood is known world wide for heart pumping rides and the best music anywhere. The new grove ramps up the fun for the entire family. Kids will love the Tree Top tower offering a sky high view of the grove and surrounding Smoky Mountains while whisking through the air in a giant acorn.
The great tree swing is just what you would expect and more. This swing is big enough for the entire family. Fashioned as a flying leaf boat rising and falling through the air as if on an autumn breeze.
The black bear trail is your chance to catch a glimpse of the iconic symbol of the Smoky Mountains, black bear. Be sure and have your camera ready to capture some cuteness.
This Heysmokies.com exclusive video shares a few of the Wildwood Grove secrets!
Hop on over to the Frogs and Fireflies ride for a fun race around the lily pad pond. Hold on tight astride a giant frog for a fun romp chasing fireflies.
Smoky Mountain Ramp Pesto Recipe. Ramps, allium tricoccum, have been a Smoky Mountain secret delicacy for generations. This delicious bulb and its greens has a punchy flavor that is half garlic, half onion and 100% delicious!
Ramp hunting is an annual ritual for the HeySmokies culinary team in the mountains near the national park. Ramps are found during April and May in our mountains. These plants have become so popular in recent years that many foragers closely guard the location of their favorite patches. For those who would rather not “ramp tramp” through the woods in search of these culinary treasures you can find your fill at the Cosby Ramp Festival.
Ramp bonus tip: The consumption of ramps often leaves those who enjoy them exuding a pungent rampy scent for a few days. Don’t be surprised if people seem to avoid you and definitely don’t expect anyone to want to do any smooching with you until the scent dissipates.