Auburn spices things up for Cinco de Mayo

22nd annual party set for Old Town
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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Grab your sombrero and maracas – it’s time for Cinco de Mayo in Old Town Auburn.

The Saturday celebration includes Chano Uribe, who will once again bring his Andalusia “dancing horses” to Old Town Auburn, and the Folkloric Dance Troupe from Sacramento. New this year, “Jazzy” the longhorn steer will be present for photo opportunities and there will be rides from Newcastle’s Pony-Up between the firehouse and north end of Café Delicias. There will be vendors, piñatas, dancing, a mechanical bull and rock climbing wall. The party ends with a street dance from 8-9 p.m.

“People come to Cinco de Mayo because it’s a fun, festive family event,” said Linda Robinson, event co-coordinator. “They look forward to the colorful dancers and dancing horses. We’ve watched kids and families grow up with this event, and they come from all parts of our county. It’s tradition for many.”

Ruben Ramirez, Robinson’s co-coordinator and the owner of Café Delicias, said the celebration is something his family looks forward to every year. An added bonus this year is that the event takes place on a Saturday, so he expects lots of families to show up.

“It’s a free event,” Ramirez said. “There’s no charge to come in and have fun.”

Cinco de Mayo is a family-focused event where alcohol is not sold or encouraged. The celebration is sponsored by Sun River Clothing, Café Delicias, Tio Pepe’s Restaurant, the Dining Divas of Auburn and the Old Town Business Association.

The 22nd annual event kicks off with a salsa-making competition that pits local restaurants against one another to see whose heat can’t be beat.

“It’s just fun,” said Ty Rowe, owner and chef at Bootlegger’s. “We have a good time joking with each other, with all the restaurants. It gives us a good reason to get out there and have a good time.”

Other eateries looking to take home the trophy include Awful Annie’s, Old Town Pizza, Mary Belle’s and Tsuda’s.

For $2, heat-seekers can join the competition as tasters. Each restaurant will have their space set up and decorated along Washington Street. Visitors will vote via the tickets in their “tasting kit,” and select their favorite salsa. The winner is based on the best salsa and how many tickets are in their box.

Rowe, who won the competition last year, said tasters can look forward to his “rojo salsa verde” entries, a red salsa and milder green salsa.

“All the salsas are really good,” Rowe said of his competition. “It’s just a personal taste thing. But I’m going to beat them again this year.”

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at Follow her on Twitter, @AuburnJournalAE.


Cinco de Mayo

When: 5-9 p.m. Saturday, May 5
Where: Old Town Auburn
Cost: Free (salsa tasting kits $2)
Info: Linda Robinson, (530) 888-1585,


Schedule (approximate)

5 p.m.: Salsa tasting; tasting kits $2
5:30 p.m.: Chano Uribe and his Andalusia dancing horses
6:15 p.m.: Folkloric Dance Troupe
7:15 p.m.: Salsa contest winner announced, trophy awarded
8-9 p.m.: Street dance