On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army won a glorious victory in battle against French invaders at the Battle of Puebla. Today, the date is used as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo seems to be gaining in popularity in the U.S. Each year, more and more people flock to bars and restaurants to enjoy authentic Mexican food, drink and fun. Here are your best bets to “fiesta con la gente,” or “party with the people” this Cinco de Mayo in DFW.

Photo Credit: cincodemayo-dallas.com

Oak Cliff Big Parade & Festival
Parade: West Jefferson St. between 200 E. block and 1000 W. Page Street
Festival: 600 block at W. Jefferson
Dallas, TX 75208
www.cincodemayo-dallas.comHours: May 5, 2012 at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Big Parade and Festival in Oak Cliff is a decades-long tradition, 22 years to be exact. The nearly mile-and-a-half-long route runs through historic Oak Cliff and is sponsored by the Oak Cliff Coalition for the Arts. Arrive early to get a prime watching spot, then thrill to the colorful floats, marching bands, rumba performers and music. After the parade, kick back at the main stage for more music and performances. Its great fun for all ages.

Photo Credit: Chuy’s via Facebook

4544 McKinney Avenue
Dallas, TX 75205
(214) 559-2489
www.chuys.comHours: Sun to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri and Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

With its pastel flying fish, decorative hubcaps, and Elvis Presley commemorative dining room, you might mistake Chuy’s for a carnival. Thank goodness they take their food seriously. You’ll drool for their mouthwatering entrees, handmade stuffed rellenos and burritos as big as your face. For Cinco de Mayo, Chuy’s is bringing in a mariachi band, which will undoubtedly add to the already festive vibe of this Tex-Mex spot. Come celebrate from wherever you are in the DFW–Chuy’s has a location in Arlington, Denton, Fort Worth and East and West Plano as well.

Related: Best Margaritas in Dallas

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

La Calle Doce
Oak Cliff
415 W. 12th Street
Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 941-4304
www.lacalledoce-dallas.comHours: Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

This Mexican seafood spot has been a Dallas staple for over three decades, mainly because of the fun vibe, awesome service and friendly staff. La Calle Doce raises the bar with its flavorful Tex-Mex offerings, however, that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to party. For Cinco de Mayo, enjoy $3 margaritas all day and night. While you’re there, try one of the delicious seafood dishes for which they’re known. A mariachi band performs several times a day for your enjoyment. Visit either of the Dallas locations to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

1450 W Magnolia Ave.
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
(817) 332-8633Hours: Mon and Thurs – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat – 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Less Tex-Mex, more Mex-Mex, Benito’s is bound to be hopping on Cinco de Mayo. This hole in the wall won’t impress you with its décor—dusty piñatas and throw rugs adorn the walls and a tree grows up through the floor—but its menu is sure to delight. Try a specialty, like the Oaxaca chicken tamale. Of course, you’ll find traditional Tex-Mex selections too. The prices here, especially on beers and margaritas, are affordable. This Fort Worth spot is open late and Benito’s is about as authentic as it gets, making this the perfect spot to wind up at the end of your night to wind down your Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Related: Best Mexican Food in Dallas

Photo Credit: joets.com

Joe T. Garcia’s
2201 N. Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76164
(817) 626-4356
www.joets.comHours:  Mon to Thurs Lunch – 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Dinner – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Joe T. Garcia’s has grown in size over the years, but its food is still prepared with the same TLC that made the place famous. Thankfully, its menu is quite simple for a place this big, offering Tex-Mex staples. Be forewarned: the margaritas are potent and available by the pitcher, so be sure to pace yourself if you want to make through the day unscathed. Joe T. Garcia’s ideal combination of strong drinks and large, inviting space means this place is sure to be popular on Cinco de Mayo.

Unbeknownst to Robert Stahl, his body is an empty shell, telepathically controlled by a brain in a jar which was buried long ago under the floorboard of his home in Dallas. Consequently, he can’t explain why his days are filled with the urge to write: stories, letters, and articles, whatever. His work can be found at Examiner.com.