A celebration of independence and freedom, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French Empire at Puebla in 1862.
On May 5 downtown, Cinco de Chandler celebrates Mexican food, drink, music, culture and camaraderie during springtime in the desert.
Ghett’ Yo Taco, 241 S. Oregon St., is hosting the fiesta, in its second year as a full participatory event.
The restaurant is the colorful building behind the Perch restaurant with the spray-painted “Dia de Los Muertos” mural painted by Valley artist, Lalo Cota, known for murals and paintings focusing on Mexican culture, desert landscapes and politics.
Cinco de Chandler begins at 10 a.m. and includes dancing to live bands, mariachis and DJs. The 4-year-old taqueria will offer its signature street tacos, a variety of cervezas and margaritas.
For the children, Gilbert’s Christina Ranburger with Blushing Peach Art will offer face painting and Chandler’s Cheryl Tisland, co-owner of Burst of Butterflies, piñata-making 4-7 p.m.
Yard games and prizes are also scheduled. For the adults, DJ Wyzeman will host a party from 6 p.m. until midnight.
“Last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we compromised by offering guests the chance to experience live music performances from local bands while they waited for their meals,” said Wally Ansari, who acquired Ghett’ Yo’ Taco in 2018 a year after the restaurant opened.
A sister property is Ghett’ Yo’ Pizza at 4747 E. Elliot Road in Ahwatukee.
“But the first year we hosted the festival in 2019, we had more than 1,200 people come throughout the day,” he added. “We know it is something that the community enjoys taking part in, and we are excited to be back again this year. Please come out whenever you would like, day or night.”
Mexican street tacos are smaller than traditional restaurant varieties, allowing someone purchasing from a street vendor, for example, to hold and eat them without dropping the fillings from the corn tortillas.
The street tacos at Cinco de Chandler will include grilled chicken, carne asada, al pastor, jackfruit for the vegetarians and other varieties, Ansari explained.
The venue’s popular sliders will also be available, which include the OG Angus beef, carnitas and fiery chicken. And just for Cinco de Chandler, Gett’ Yo Taco employees will be preparing whole roasted chickens on charcoal outside.
“Our full bar will feature frozen margaritas in a variety of flavors and several Mexican beers to keep everyone cool and happy,” Ansari said, noting that the Corona, Dos XX and Corazon Tequila companies will be offering samples.
During the day, three local bands will be playing: Johnny Gowans, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; the Taide Pineda Band, 12–3 p.m., and The Conveyors, 3–6 p.m.
A Gilbert resident, Ansari has grown Ghett’ Yo Taco with vibrant downtown Chandler, which has become one of the Valley’s go-to areas for restaurants and meeting spots.
“We’re an urban taqueria specializing in authentic street-style tacos, a fun and affordable spot for children and adults, family members, friends and colleagues,” he said.
Ghett’ Yo Taco has 20 employees, mostly East Valley residents, including Stuart Shainberg of Gilbert, who is the operations manager for the restaurant, handling day-to-day responsibilities while Ansari coordinates the menu.
“Our team members set us apart from other taquerias. All of them have a passion for having fun with each other and guests and serving outstanding food. We want the community who visit Ghett’ Yo to feel like they’re having a meal with close friends, instead of just stopping by to get a quick bite,” Ansari said.
Cinco de Chandler, he explained, “is a great representation of our mission as a local restaurant and Mexican culture. And, it is fun for the whole family. With such a difficult year behind us, our goal is to put on a safe outdoor festival that everyone can enjoy!”
Children 12 and under are free to the event. Adults may purchase tickets online before for $5 or at the door for $8. The restaurant also caters and hosts buy-out private parties.