If you're a gringo like me, Cinco de Mayo is an awe-inspiring festivity. On what other date after St. Patrick's Day, but before July 4th, do so many people from so many races and economic classes join together on common ground and get just totally schlocked? How many other days can you yell, "Viva Mexico," as oft as you'd like without John Ashcroft wondering if you're a terrorist? The answer is: not very many. Perhaps Memorial Day, but still, Cinco de Mayo is a cause for celebration if only because everyone is celebrating. And what, again, are we celebrating? Oh, yeah. Cinco de Mayo honors the battle at Puebla in 1862, when a small, ill-equipped Mexican militia slapped the French army silly. (Back then, it was a big deal when militias or untrained civilians defeated the French army.) So, Pierre, I command you to put down that cheese, pick up a Corona and head to Fair Park on May 2--Cinco de Mayo on Dos de Mayo? Why not?--when there will be two stages of music, a car show and more food from noon to 9 p.m. than Napoleon's troops could polish off. Admission is $5, or free with a pass from Minyard, Carnival or Sack N Save stores. For more information call 214-800-5220. --Paul Kix
As the temperature rises, so does the likelihood that on any given weekend there is an art festival to enjoy. That being, there is no excuse not to grab a little culture on your off time. In its 35th year, the Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson expects about 240 artists to exhibit their creations. Children also get to participate in art projects. There will be musical entertainment from acts such as Earl Musick, Watusi and 41 Gorgeous Blocks. The festival is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 1 and May 2. Parking and admission are free. The Cottonwood Art Festival is located at the Richardson Parks and Recreation's Cottonwood Park, 1321 Belt Line Road. Call 972-744-4582. --Jenice Johnson
For those who are up on the happenin' local housing scene, the subtle yet strangely compelling M Streets Home Tour is the place to be for you domicile-philes. The tour will feature the M Street homes in all their 1920s and '30s, Tudor-style majesty for you to peruse from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10; kids under 5 get in free. All proceeds benefit the Greenland Hills CrimeWatch. Call 214-370-5585 or visit www.mstreets.org. --Mary Monigold
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