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Casino del Sol celebrates Cinco de Mayo all weekend

Casino del Sol celebrates Cinco de Mayo all weekend

Nicky Jam kicks off the AVA’s weekend-long Cinco de Mayo celebration on Thursday, May 2, with his Intimo Tour.

Cinco de Mayo is Sunday — May 5, of course — and the folks at Casino del Sol are pulling out all the stops to celebrate.

It makes sense; Tucson and Southern Arizona celebrate the anniversary of Mexico’s Battle of Puebla victory over the French more enthusiastically than Mexico, if the truth be told. But our commemoration of the event on May 5, 1862, has little to do with military might and everything to do with cervezas.

And we like to chase our Mexican beer with a little Mexican culture. This weekend, Casino del Sol is turning Cinco de Mayo into Cinco de Semana beginning with reggaeton singer-songwriter Nicky Jam at the casino’s outdoor AVA Amphitheater on Thursday, May 2, and concluding on Sunday, May 5, with the Fiestas Cinco de Mayo Celebration.

Events are at the AVA, 5655 W. Valencia Road, and the all-new Sunset Room at Casino of the Sun, 7406 S. Camino De Oeste. Tickets are available through

  • Nicky Jam — aka Nick Rivera Caminero — brings his Intimo Tour to Tucson. The Boston native who grew up in his father’s native Puerto Rico, is a veteran musician going back to when he released his first album when he was 13. At 38, he’s still burning up the Latin music charts. He goes on stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at the AVA. Tickets are $60 to $150.
  • Fito Olivares — aka Rodolfo Olivares — will kick in some cumbia with his band at 8 p.m. Friday, May 3, at Casino of the Sun. Expect some high energy hijinks from this group, fronted by the veteran cumbia singer-songwriter. Admission is free and you must be 21 and older to attend.
  • Jaime de Anda and Los Badd Boyz del Valle headline Casino of the Sun’s Cinco de Mayo Conjunto Festival at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 4, in the Sunset Room. Tickets are $10, $8 for military with ID.
  • Of course, Cinco de Mayo is all about overindulging in amazing Mexican food and beer, and on Sunday, May 5, AVA is hosting the mega Fiestas Cinco de Mayo Celebration, presented by La Poderosa 105.3 FM. There will be food trucks, vendors and live entertainment beginning at 2 p.m. and continuing until 10. And here’s the sweet part: Admission is free.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.

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