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First weekend in May is time for margaritas and mint juleps

After the wicked winter we went through, we deserve an early start to celebrating summer. Or at least warmer weather.

The tandem celebrations of Kentucky Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo will provide just that.

The Derby comes first. It’s always run on the first Saturday in May, which is this Saturday. Cinco de Mayo always falls on May 5.

The two celebrations have more in common than sharing the same neighborhood on the calendar.

Both are largely American experiences — that’s right, Cinco de Mayo isn’t a huge deal in most of Mexico, even though it commemorates an 1862 victory by the Mexican army during the Franco-Mexican War.

Both date to the 19th century — the first Derby was run in 1875.

And both are enjoyed even by people who don’t really know why they’re celebrating. So, do you know who won last year’s Derby?

Like the Derby, many of the area’s Cinco celebrations will take place Saturday, probably because May 5 falls on a Monday.

The big Cinco de Mayo event that day will be a parade and festival in downtown Kansas City, Kan. On the Missouri side, the Guadalupe Centers will have a three-day festival starting Friday, and the Chihuahua Parade will be on Sunday.

Most area Derby celebrations consist of drinking mint juleps (or something else) while watching the race on television. Many charities will use the occasion as a fundraiser, including the big one at the Power Light District.

So, it’s on to Derby de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo events Barney Allis Plaza What:

It’s billed as the Kansas City Chihuahua Parade, but all dogs in costume are welcome at this benefit for Great Plains SPCA; also, Valentine and the Knights will perform.

When:

1 p.m. Sunday

Where:

12th and Central

Info: kcdogparade.com Bonito Michoacan Meat Market What:

Cinco de Mayo Downtown Parade and Festival will include booths and music.

When:

11 a.m. Saturday

Where:

1150 Minnesota, Kansas City, Kan.

Info: bonitomichoacankck.com Casa Somerset What:

Visitors can make their own tamales or enjoy fajitas from the grill; event is BYOB.

When:

6 p.m. Saturday

Where:

16315 W. 287th, Paola

Info:

casasomerset.com, 913-557-9288

Club 1000 What:

The Margarita Ball with unlimited margaritas and tapas will benefit Hope House. $100.

When:

8 p.m. May 9

Where:

1000 Broadway

Info: hopehouse.net/margaritaball

, 816-461-4673

Guadalupe Centers What:

A concert by Little Joe and the Steel Road Band at 6 p.m. Friday will highlight the free Cinco de Mayo Festival; also a race (cincodemayo5que.com), breakfast and Mass on Sunday.

When:

Friday-Sunday

Where:

1015 Avenida Cesar E. Chavez

Info:

guadalupecenters.org, 816-421-1015

Habanero’s What:

Restaurant states it has “the biggest Cinco event” in the area.

When:

Monday

Where:

1008 S.E. Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit

Info:

eatathabaneros.com, 816-554-1008

KCKPL South Library What:

Celebración del Cinco de Mayo includes activities for all ages.

When:

1 p.m. Saturday

Where:

3104 Strong, Kansas City, Kan.

Info: kckpl.org

, 913-722-7400

La Bodega What:

Special offerings will include street tacos and carnitas.

When:

11 a.m.-close Monday

Where:

Southwest Boulevard and Leawood locations

Info:

labodegakc.com, 816-472-8272

Mestizo What:

Food and drink specials all weekend, and a marimba band will play 7-11 p.m. Monday.

When:

Friday-Monday

Where:

5270 W. 116th, Leawood

Info:

mestizoleawood.com, 913-752-9025

Sol Cantina What:

Cinco de Drinko is five days of fiesta, with specials and live music every day.

When:

Today-Monday

Where:

408 E. 31st

Info:

solcantina.com, 816-931-8080

Kentucky Derby events Alexander Majors House What:

Run for the Roses, with mint juleps, bluegrass music and Southern food, is a St. Luke’s Foundation event. $50.

When:

3 p.m. Saturday

Where:

8201 State Line

Info:

saintlukesgiving.org/derby

Bishop Miege High School What:

The Kentucky Derby Dinner and auction benefit the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph in Maple Mount, Ky. $50.

When:

6 p.m. Saturday

Where:

5041 Reinhardt, Roeland Park

Info: ursulinesmsj.org/help-the- sisters/kentucky-derby-dinner- in-kansas Carriage Club What:

The Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby Gala, complete with a fashion contest, is a benefit for the Mission Project and First Downs for Down Syndrome. $100.

When:

2:30 p.m. Saturday

Where:

5960 Dearborn, Mission

Info:

themissionproject.org, 913-722-2499

Club 1000 What:

The Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors event is called It’s Time to Talk Derby, and since the race will be over, you’ll have plenty to discuss. Benefits Realtors Political Action Committee. $45.

When:

5:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where:

1000 Broadway

Info: kcrar.com/2014auction Faulkner’s Ranch What:

This Kentucky Derby Gala fundraiser for Sugar Creek Equinpay will include auctions, food, games and more. $20.

When:

2:30 p.m. Saturday

Where:

10600 Raytown Road

Info: sugarcreekequinapy.org Maker’s Mark and Kansas City Live! What:

Eat, bid on auction items and watch the race on a big screen while supporting the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. $35-$75.

When:

3 p.m. Saturday

Where:

Power Light District

Info: kcderbyfest.com

, 816-803-7406

Rye What:

Mint juleps made with Dark Horse Distillery bourbon will be the highlight of Rye’s Kentucky Derby Party. $35.

When:

3 p.m. Saturday

Where:

10551 Mission, Leawood

Info: ryekc.com

, 913-642-5800

Tavern in the Village What:

Guests are encouraged to dress up for the Tavern Derby Event, with drink specials from Dark Horse Distillery as well as Derby dishes and prizes.

When:

2 p.m. Saturday

Where:

3901 Prairie Lane, Prairie Village

Info: taverninthevillage.com
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