Grab a margarita and head off to the races. This weekend is packed full of festivities for Derby Day and Cinco De Mayo. Here are some of the ways to celebrate in Charleston.

Derby Day
Charleston is off to the races on Saturday for Derby Day in celebration of the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, so be sure to don your wide-brimmed hats and seersucker suits for some of these special events.

Mario Guitierrez rides Nyquist to victory during the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Louisville, Ky.
Mario Guitierrez rides Nyquist to victory during the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Louisville, Ky.

Folly River Lodge will get things started pretty early with its Namaste Derby Day Yoga & Brunch event in the courtyard, with Derby-inspired drinks, games, prizes for fancy hats and more. The Kentucky Derby isn’t until the evening, so this will be a horse-free event. Reservations required. 9:30-11:30 a.m. May 4, 87 Center St., Folly Beach; $35 per person.

Bay Street Biergarten will host its Kenpuppy Derby Party, featuring a puppy costume contest, fanciest (human) hat contest, Bulleit mint juleps and food specials, as well as a chance to win a New Belgium bike. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. May 4, 549 East Bay St., downtown Charleston; free admission. 843-266-2437,

The Alley will host its Bluegrass Bash Derby Party, featuring a best dressed contest, horse-picking contest (win a custom bike from Affordabike), a special Derby Day menu (Kentucky Hot Browns!), Woodford Reserve mint juleps and live music from the Bluestone Ramblers. There also will be a chance to win tickets to Steeplechase of Charleston and the first 200 in the door will get tickets to the Charleston Hot Air Balloon Festival and Victory Cup Polo Match. 4-8 p.m. May 4, 131 Columbus St., downtown Charleston; free admission. 843-818-4080,


Tavern and Table will host its “swanky” Kentucky Derby Party, with live bluegrass music from Ben Lewis, Woodford Reserve mint juleps, a derby hat contest, raffles and additional contests. 4-8 p.m. May 4, 100 Church St., Mount Pleasant. 843-352-9510,

The Avery Institute will host its second annual Kentucky Derby Party fundraiser in the McAlister Suite at TD Arena, featuring live entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and more. Traditional derby-style attire is encouraged. 4-7 p.m. May 4, 301 Meeting St., downtown Charleston; $50 general admission. 843-953-7609,

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits at The Restoration Hotel will host its Kentucky Derby-themed celebration with crafted Smooth Ambler mint juleps and its farm-to-table menu items. 4-7 p.m. May 4, 75 Wentworth St., downtown Charleston; free admission. 843-518-5100,

Mint juleps will be the drink-of-the-day at Derby Day parties around town on Saturday.
Mint juleps will be the drink-of-the-day at Derby Day parties around town on Saturday.

The Junior Service League of Summerville will host its inaugural Derby Party at Linwood Inn and attire is “Derby Dapper,” encouraging pastels and “outrageously big hats,” featuring live music from Steve Simon & The New South Jazzmen, an open bar, silent and live auctions, a raffle and Derby-inspired cuisine. Proceeds will benefit numerous Summerville civic organizations. 5-8 p.m. May 4, 200 S. Palmetto St., downtown Summerville; $106 general admission with additional VIP options.

The Harbour Club will host its Kentucky Derby Party, featuring pimiento cheese sandwiches, Hot Browns, Derby pie, bourbon balls and more. Reservations required. 5-7 p.m. May 4, 35 Prioleau St., downtown Charleston; $25 all-inclusive ticket includes one mint julep. 843-723-9680,

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (translation: fifth of May) is the commemorative celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War. While it’s a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, it’s muy grande aqui en los Estados Unidos.

Maui Tacos Charleston is hosting the Aloha Fiesta Cinco de Mayo Weekend, opening at 11 a.m. Friday-Sunday and featuring beer, margarita, tequila and taco specials, and music from DJ Danny Seltzer. 200 Meeting St., downtown Charleston. 843-793-4441,

Taco Boy will host Weekendo de Cinco at its downtown location and folks are encouraged to wear their “party pantalones” for swag and margaritas on Saturday and DJ Trevor D on Sunday. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. May 5, 217 Huger St., downtown Charleston. 843-789-3333,

In memory of the Battle of Puebla, El Pincho Taco will celebrate on Saturday with food and drink specials, and they want you to put on your dancing shoes for the DJ. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. May 4, 616-C Meeting St., downtown Charleston. 843-406-5958,

Republic Garden & Lounge will convert its First Sunday Patio Party into a Cinco de Mayo party, with tacos and margarita specials, and live music from Dan’s Tramp Stamp and High Society. VIP table options available. 3-11 p.m. May 4, 432 King St., downtown Charleston.


Brushfire Collective will perform at Mex 1 Coastal Cantina’s Cinco de Mex 1 celebration on Saturday.
Brushfire Collective will perform at Mex 1 Coastal Cantina’s Cinco de Mex 1 celebration on Saturday.

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina will host its annual Cinco de Mex 1 block party celebration beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday, featuring performances from a local Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) group, Maculele (Afro-Brazilian dance with sticks and machetes), samba dancers, Brushfire Collective (flamethrowers) and Blade and Bull (ax-throwing) and live music from Seitu Solomon Steelpan, Strawberry Squad with Ben Fagan and The Dubplates. Indoor and outdoor bars will have drink specials and food stations available. 817 St. Andrews Blvd., Charleston; $15-$20 general admission, $5 under 21, free for ages 12 and younger. 843-751-4001,

The 14th annual Cinco de Mayo Festival and Charleston Animal Society fundraiser also will be held a day early at the Charleston Visitor Center Bus Shed on Saturday, featuring music from Mala Fe, Freily El F, Gino Castillo & The Cuban Cowboys, Bachata Flow, DJ Luigi, Latin Groove Radio and DJ Leo. Authentic food will be available from El Pincho Taco, Espettos on Wheels, Sabor CubaRican Cuisine and Holy Rolly Charleston, with drink offerings from Jose Cuervo, Estrella Jalisco and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. Latin Groove Charleston will host the after-party at the Music Farm (32 Ann St., downtown Charleston). 7-11 p.m. May 4, 375 Meeting St., downtown Charleston; $15 general admission.

3 Matadors Tequileria will host Cincopalooza, with the Cinco de Mayo Family Zone on Saturday, featuring the Gracious Day Steel Drum Band from 1-4 p.m., jump castles, a Doggie Dress-Up Contest and the Thomas Champagne Band from 7-11 p.m. Sunday will feature a Parking Lot Party with DJ Natty Heavy from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and DJ Luigi from 2-6 p.m., in collaboration with Estrella Jalisco. 2447 Ashley River Road, Charleston. 843-414-7894,

Tattooed Senorita Cantina is celebrating all weekend long with specials on tacos, margaritas, Dos Equis, Tacate and Cuervo, and live music from Just Groove from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday and Mac Calhoun from 6-9 p.m. on Sunday. 1846 Old Folly Beach Road, James Island. 843-444-3439,

On to Sunday celebrations:5cca003489192.image

Container Bar and Rutledge Cab Company will team up for their Cinco de Mayo Block Party, with music from DJ Silk T, specialty cocktails and a margarita bar, food trucks and giveaways. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 5, corner of Rutledge Ave. and Mt. Pleasant St., downtown Charleston; free admission.,

The Brick
will host Cinco de Mayo: Rebel Taqueria Takeover, with food and drink specials and live music from Zach Bedell Music. Rebel Taqueria will randomly treat guests with free tacos throughout the celebration. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. May 5, 24 Ann St., downtown Charleston; free admission. 843-998-6828,

Carolina Ale House will just combine everything together with its Cinco de Derby Rooftop Party on Sunday with mint juleps, buckets of Modelo, pitchers of Michelada, the Dance Doctors and Latin DJ Graft. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 5, 145 Calhoun St., downtown Charleston; free admission. 843-805-7020,

El Jefe Texican Cantina will host its Cinco de Anniversary Celebration beginning at 11 a.m. with some surprises for its first anniversary, food and Tecate and Corona specials, “LOTS of tacos” and its mechanical bull. 468 King St., downtown Charleston. 843-501-7711,