Last Thursday evening on May 3, we joined our friends and an estimated crowd of 30,000 in Manchester, NH for the 8th annual Hippo de Mayo event. Billed as New England's largest Cinco de Mayo celebration, it takes place before May 5. It started in 2011 to encourage people to visit downtown Manchester, NH and attracted over 5,000 people the first year. Now, it's one of the city's largest annual events.
We were first-time participants for this outdoor eating event that featured $2 tacos served al fresco on the street with 50 local participating restaurants. And, like everyone else, we walked from eatery to eatery during the 4 to 9 pm event. This was strictly a pedestrian event as the city of Manchester closed down Elm Street, one of its main roadways for the 4 hour event.
Eateries charged $2 per taco with monies going towards a charity. No advance tickets were sold as the tacos were on a first-come, first-eat basis until inventory ran out. We arrived with our friends before 5 pm
These were not the standard cheese, tomato and beef tacos as we sampled pulled pork, eggplant, apple crisp, grilled cheese, fish, crispy chicken, sushi, and BBQ chicken tacos.
Some of the more creative combinations included dessert tacos with chocolate, Korean tacos with kimchi, and Greek tacos with tzatziki sauce and French fries.
The event was sponsored by The Hippo, New Hampshire's largest circulation weekday publication with a net distribution of over 40,000. This free weekly publication is distributed Thursdays throughout southern New Hampshire at over 1,200 locations.
It was a perfect evening with warmer temperatures (finally). We had a fun time and are planning to return for next year's event.
Many folks who celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 5 are in the dark about the the history of the date. While it's sometimes referred to as Mexico's Independence Day, that's incorrect as that celebration is on Sept. 15.
Instead, the Cinco de Mayo celebration marks the Mexican army's defeat over the French forces of Napoleon III in 1862, at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico had difficulty paying back war debts to European countries, and France had come to Mexico to collect the debt.