Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that commemorates the Mexican militia's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla a century-and-a-half ago. Yet somehow, for Charlotteans (and many Americans) that translates into a night of binge drinking tequila and Corona. Whatever reason you toast on Cinco de Mayo ... Salud! (That means "cheers" in Spanish.)
I started off my weekend (on Thursday) at Live After 5, where I chilled in the VIP tower with the guys from Kiss 95.1. Also chillin' in the outdoor, makeshift VIP section that overlooked the couple hundred people in attendance was Bobcat Emeka Okafor. NASCAR star Jeff Gordon, also at the party, could be spotted at Mimosa Grill. After the After 5 party, the Uptown Girls and our bodyguards went to the Coyote Ugly Corporate Takeover Blowout, which was the grand opening of the bar under its new management. With the management change came an upgrade in the caliber of girls dancing on the bar -- granted some of them included reality TV stars from CMT's Coyote Ugly Search.
Months ago, upon stepping into Coyote Ugly for my first time, I turned around to leave before the bouncer could even find the date-of-birth on my ID. But now Charlotte's branch of the bar is a little bit closer to Nashville's. Translation: Yee-haw!
Then we migrated south to Head of the Buck (better known as Buckhead Saloon) for the official After Five after-party. If you want an idea of the size of the crowd, I could full-out swing dance (to acoustic music no less) and not kick anyone or feel awkward about it -- flips and all.
We later proceeded to Brick and Barrel to get down in the basement at a Cinco de Mayo Eve celebration including oversized sombreros and mini Coronas known as Coronitas. Turns out, it only takes one Coronita for me to begin speaking broken Spanish. DJ Country and DJ Kommotion were so determined to draw out the corner dwellers, they ordered shooters for all those utilizing the dance floor. Perhaps the tequila was hip lubricant.
Next stop was Jillian's, where some Queens College graduates were putting the bombed in Bombshell Thursdays.
Cinco de Mayo also happens to be my best friend's birthday, so I refer to it as La Dia de Casey. We started the night off at the Forum for its seasonal High Five Fridays on the rooftop. We were serenaded by the Latin-infused tunes of La Rúa, although rainy weather threatened the fiesta.
Post-happy hour, the birthday girl and our entourage tangoed over to an overcrowded La Paz on South Boulevard for its annual Fiesta, Fiesta. It does make sense to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at a Mexican restaurant doesn't it? But only for a brief spell. Since I tend to make no sense anyway, I redirected the crew to "nacho" typical birthday party held in Casey's honor at Dixie's Tavern. At Dixie's, we monopolized the upper level of the bar and tortured DJ Jazzy Jimmy by making him play Shakira on repeat.
Casey and I carried over the birthday bash to Saturday afternoon, reveling in the spring break environment that is the Eastover Ridge pool. Later that day, we went to the Wachovia tournament with the guys from www.CharlotteVibe.com to partake in the partying that accompanies the sport of golf. Partying and golf? Not as mutually exclusive as you might think.
From par to par-tay: I finished the weekend at Party for a Cause in NODA, where proceeds went to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. It's always nice to do some partying while doing some good at the same time.
Psssst: if you have any inside dirt on good parties, shows or club events, drop me a line.