Old Town San Diego is the place to be for authentic Mexican food and entertainment for San Diego’s Cinco de Mayo celebration. On May 5th, Fiesta de Reyes, El Fandango and The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant will be hosting special celebrations in honor of the Mexican holiday.

Starting at 1 p.m., Fiesta de Reyes will have folklorico dancers performing on the stage within the plaza.  Guests will get to enjoy the traditional Mexican, lively dance of Ballet Folklorico until 3 p.m.  At 3:30 p.m., Old Town’s favorite mariachi group, Los Rios will perform some of their favorite Mexican songs.

At 6:30 p.m., Los Rios will move over to Barra Barra Saloon to perform and Luis Max & The Blue Moon will take the Fiesta de Reyes stage at 7 p.m. They will entertain the crowd with hot Latin jazz as crowds enjoy margaritas and authentic Mexican dishes under the stars until 11:30 p.m.  For more information about Fiesta de Reyes, visit www.fiestadereyes.com.

Also situated within the state park, El Fandango Restaurant is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a special menu and musical entertainment. They will be offering $2 street tacos and $4 house margaritas all day. Guests will also be able to commemorate the holiday with $10 house margarita pitchers. Starting at 3 p.m., there will be an extended happy hour menu until closing at the bar plus $3 tequila shots.  Topping off the night will be a special performance by a Latin-inspired DJ on the outside patio for people to enjoy while eating and drinking from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information about El Fandango, visit: http://elfandangorestaurant.com/.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant will be offering a special Mexican-themed menu with tamales, enchiladas, fish tacos, street tacos and burritos. Live entertainment will entertain guests on the front veranda overlooking the state park with mariachis and specialty Mexican drinks such as tequila shots and margaritas.  For more info about The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant, visit http://oldtowncosmopolitan.com/.

Old Town San Diego is considered the birthplace of California since San Diego was the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. For more information about Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, visit http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=663 .

— Creative and Original Hats will be Showcased at Free Event on April 9–

An exciting and creative addition to Old Town’s Ladies Day, the “Historic Hat and Bonnet Contest” will take place in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park on Saturday, April 9, at 2 p.m.

The 8th annual Ladies Day is free in Old Town on April 9th will feature a “Historic Hat and Bonnet Contest” where ladies of all ages will show off their handmade as well as historical bonnets and hats.

All styles of hats, bonnets and caps will be judged as long as they are consistent with the styles worn during Old Town’s interpretive period of 1821 through 1872. Contestants will be judged on historical accuracy, use of historic materials, creativity and overall appearance.

“This is the time of year where people of all ages can display their originality and love for styles in the mid-1800s,” said Deanna Turton, volunteer co-chair of the event. “Contestants will get a chance to show off their headpiece and talk about their creation on the stage.”

Participants will be judged by Diana Cavagnaro, also known as “Hatter with a Heart,” who developed her hat-making skills when she served as assistant milliner at the Old Globe Theatre. The second judge will be Sandra Durbin, past president of the San Diego Creative Stitchery Guild and winner of the most Original Handmade Hat at the Del Mar Racetrack. The third judge is Heidi Toler, owner and operator of The Johnson House, a millinery and haberdashery store in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Contestants will need to submit a $5 entry fee and fill out an entry form prior to the event and should arrive at the plaza stage by 1:30 p.m. The first prize will be $50 and other prizes will include gift certificates and merchandise from various Old Town stores.

The 8th Annual Ladies Day is a free event that will celebrate the everyday pleasures, activities and challenges of women that lived in early San Diego. This year’s event will be from noon a.m. to 5 p.m. and is named Delightful, Daring & Determined Women: A Day with the Ladies of Old Town.

Activities throughout the day will include a variety of 19th century games, crafts, basket weaving, crocheting and lace-making. For those with a sweet a tooth, both kids and adults attending the event will able to crank their own ice cream, sponsored by Coldstone. The event will also showcase historic hair demonstrations for women of all ages. There will be a garden tour as well as live entertainment from historic dancers and Los Californios musicians. Free refreshments will be provided.

Volunteers will also be showing clothing from the time period and how do to laundry by hand. Throughout the day, there will be a silent auction to benefit Boosters of Old Town and its mission to support the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Historic dancing will continue in the evening at the Barra Barra Saloon.

For more information, contact Becky Green at 619-251-3447 or Deanna Turton at 619-222-0047. Free parking is available in the CalTrans headquarters on Taylor Street, one block from the event site.