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Friday Foodstuffs: Cinco de Mayo Celebrations!

Cinco de Mayo and other stuff going on this weekend!

This is a great weekend to be living in Southern New Jersey. OK – it can be argued that every weekend is a great weekend to be living in Southern New Jersey, but this… this will be a great weekend.

The unofficial start to the community farmers’ market season gets under way on Saturday with the opening of the Collingswood Farmers’ Market.

The unofficial start to the roadside BBQ season also kicks off this weekend as Uncle Dewey’s in Mitzpah and Christine’s House of Kingfish in Shamong open for business.

But the big event is Cinco de Mayo, that great American drinking holiday. Whether you just want to partake in the drinking fun or have a tasty Mexican eating experience (or do a little of both – it’s your weekend after all), you have options.

Friday night will be a Ladies Nite Fiesta aka Cinco de Wino at Swansea Vineyards in Shiloh from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $10 per person, and you must purchase your tickets in advance.

On Saturday, on Cinco de Mayo, it will be on! No, I never considered chili as part of a Cinco de Mayo celebration, but don’t let that stop you from attending the Cinco de Mayo Chili Cook Off at Egg Harbor Twp Elks Lodge 2563, Call 609-927-0295 for the details. Wildwood is throwing a Cinco de Mayo Block Party on Garfield and Pacific Avenues from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. And for a Cinco de Mayo bash that needs two days to celebrate, Bellview Winery in Landisville, is the place to be. They will be throwing their bash from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and the cost is only $5 a person.

Cinco de Mayo food and fun will be had all day at The Tortilla Press in Collingswood and Tortilla Press Cantina in Merchantville.

At Surf Taco in Jackson there will be an all-day Cinco de Taco!! party with food, music and fun for the kids as well.

For other Mexican food suggestions to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo, there’s always La Esperanza in Lindenwold, Franco’s Taqueria in Riverside, Las Lomas in Hammonton and at the Landis MarketPlace in Vineland, Los Amigos in Berlin and Atlantic CityEl Senor Frog in Manahawkin and Distrito Cantina at Revel in Atlantic City.

Anything else going on? Oh come now… you know me better than to leave you hanging like that!

The Mad Batter Restaurant in Cape May is having a Spring Wine Dinner at 7:30 p.m. on Friday for $75 per person.

Even if you wanted to avoid all things Mexican on Five of May, you have options. It’s worth mentioning again the super cool Tankard at the Tavern event taking place at the Indian King Tavern Museum in Haddonfield. Seatings are at noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the cost is $40 per person. Please call ahead to make sure tickets are still available.

Saturday is also the day of High Street Grill’s High Street Spring Craft Beer Fest in Mount Holly from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person. Ocean City is having its Spring Block Party on Asbury Avenue (from 5th to 14th Street) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I’m guessing that the upcoming BYOB vote might be a lively topic of discussion at the block party. Just keep it civil, everyone. Admission is free, by the way. And for dinner, how about the Salem Friends Pot Pie Dinner at the Friends Meeting House Annex in, well, Salem. Take out is available from 3 to 6 p.m., and seatings are at 4, 5, 6 and 7 p.m.

Stone Harbor’s Coastal Living Festival on 96th Street and Second Avenue will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And, if you’ll allow me to peek into Monday, it’s the monthly dining event for The Epicurean Society of Southern New Jersey, which will be happening at Patsy’s Trattoria at Atlantic Club Casino Hotel (nee Atlantic City Hilton) at 6:30 p.m.

If you care to venture out of South Jersey…

So how about this: on Saturday at McFadden’s at Citizens Bank Park, it’s their annual Beer Fest at the Ballpark. Meanwhile, on the same day and across the street at Lincoln Financial Field, it’s the Philadelphia Wine Festival. Even with n games going on, plenty of drinking will be done in South Philly this Saturday.

Here’s your cooking class schedule for this weekend:

Friday: Sprinkle, Stir, Boil, Create! Teen Cooking Program at Ocean County Library’s Lakewood Branch, Date Night: In The City at Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, Dinner in Morocco at In The Kitchen Cooking School in Haddonfield, and Date Night: Springtime in Paris at Sur La Table in Marlton.

Saturday: Cooking with Chef Ray: Cinco de Mayo Celebration at the Egg Harbor Twp Community Center in Tuckerton, Essential Knife Skills and Date Night: Barcelona Nights at Sur La Table, New! Vegas Steakhouse at Viking Cooking School, Cinco de Mayo at In The Kitchen Cooking School, and Cooking with Fresh Herbs at Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown.

Sunday: Southern Specialties from the hit movie “The Help” and New! Titanic Dinner Party at Viking Cooking School, Pastry Day at In The Kitchen at In The Kitchen Cooking School, Kids in the Kitchen: Mother’s Day Brunch at Kitchen Kapers, Sushi & Tempura at The Culinary Arts Center at Burlington County College in Mount Holly.

And as always, check out our website for more upcoming food events!

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