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Ways to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro

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MAY 04, 2015

Cinco de Cuatro has been celebrated May 4 predominantly as a regional holiday, originating in Newport Beach, a seaside town in Orange County. It’s a fairly recent holiday, dating back to 1982. Legend has it that a notable Newport family, the Bluths, were the folks behind it. According to Wikipedia, the Bluths created the holiday so their “Hispanic staff wouldn’t take Cinco de Mayo off as part of their ‘war on May the 5th.’ ” The logic behind this scheme was that by having a holiday similar to Cinco de Mayo the day before, the party supplies would be depleted, and thus it would be impossible to celebrate Cinco. The Mexican community, however, readily embraced Cuatro because of financial reasons.

In reality, Cinco de Cuatro was not actually celebrated in Newport Beach. It was simply a holiday residing in the imaginations of the “Arrested Development” creators. But surely this is a holiday that deserves to be celebrated in the real world. You can celebrate it as a commemoration of a hilarious show (that is, prior to the fourth season), as an observance of Mexican culture or, perhaps, as another excuse to get ridiculously inebriated off margaritas. Here’s a list compiled by the Clog meant to guide you in your Cuatro festivities.


The most important part of any holiday is food. While we may not be as close to Mexico as Southern California is, there are some reasonably authentic Mexican restaurants around Berkeley that will put you in the celebratory spirit.

La Mission

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Offering generous portions of mole enchiladas and baja fish tacos, La Mission is the perfect place to spend Cuatro, especially if you’re not up for a trek to the Mission District that day. It’s a quaint and unassuming place in West Berkeley that serves great food at a reasonable price (one dollar sign on Yelp).


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Meat is a central part of most Mexican dishes, but what if you’re vegetarian and are tired of being restricted to ordering a quesadilla while your friends polish off their monstrous burritos overflowing with carnitas? Flacos is the place for you then. On Adeline Street, it’s completely vegan and fills its delicious taquitos with flavorful meat substitutes. You can eat tamales to your heart’s content without having to worry that it’s fried in lard.


Want to make your own food for your Cinco de Cuatro party? Here are some easy recipes to try out.


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This drink is cool, refreshing and delicious. It must be good if Vampire Weekend wrote a song about it.

Recipe: horchata


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This is quite possibly the best dip ever invented. It’s the only socially acceptable way to devour huge quantities of avocado.

Recipe: guacamole

Chocolate-covered frozen bananas

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There can be no proper homage to “Arrested Development” without a chocolate-covered frozen banana. Remember, there is always money in the banana stand.

Recipe: frozen bananas


Need ideas for what exactly you should do on this new holiday? How about some of these suggestions?

Hire a mariachi band to play “The Sound of Silence.”

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The folksy melancholy of this easily recognized Simon & Garfunkel song allows a mariachi band to show a side different from their general joyfulness and exuberance. It offers a perfect time to contemplate the mistakes you’ve made.

Produce your own rendition of “Fantastic 4: An Action Musical.”

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Push to have this Tobias Funke-written musical performed at Zellerbach Hall one year. It may be hard, but persevere. Until that day comes, make due and put on your own production of this musical with friends.

Get political.

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People have long used Cinco de Cuatro inappropriately as a means to announce their political beliefs and agendas. Why not continue the tradition? If you agree with Lindsay Bluth, tactfully acknowledge your support for the building of a U.S.-Mexican border wall on this nationalistic holiday. (We do not recommend this.)

Binge-watch “Arrested Development.”

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This is probably the most realistic way you’re going to celebrate this holiday. After all, it requires no effort at all. Just splay across your bed and let Netflix play episode after episode. Don’t feel bad when the little message pops up asking if you’re still watching.


Image Sources:Justin Krebs,  D Coetzeechristina whiskhandsJustin Kernstu_spivackhalf alive – soo zzzzCarol BrownegreylochThomas AndersonAdam Gerard

Contact Nora Harhen at [email protected].

MAY 04, 2015