According to The Arizona Republic, it’s difficult to put a dollar value on Cinco de Mayo, but sales of avocados, tequila and Mexican beer often jump during the holiday period, which can last for several days around the actual May 5 date.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
It’s celebrated only regionally in Mexico, but in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has been promoted by bars, restaurants and the liquor industry and has become a celebration of Mexican culture. In border states such Arizona, Cinco de Mayo has become a huge holiday, with most grocery stores, bars and restaurants offering special deals.
Phoenix advertising executive Ray Arvizu, who produces Phoenix’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, said the holiday was initially promoted by Mexican restaurants but has grown into a major holiday for mainstream retailers.
“It really took off in the 1980s and continues to grow,” Arvizu said. Now in its 17th year, the annual two-day Cinco de Mayo celebration in downtown Phoenix is said to be the largest in the Southwest and is expected to draw up to 250,000 people today and Sunday.
Photo by Salty Senorita.