El EncantoMexican and Spanish Influence on Catalina

On Cinco de Mayo we celebrate Mexican heritage. The day commerates the Battle of Puebla, and while the holiday is relatively minor in Mexico, in the California it has become a celebration of Mexican culture. Catalina Island's history is one that is intertwined with Mexico. Once part of Spain, California become a province of Mexico in 1820. Catalina Island was awarded, by Mexican Governor Don Pio de Jesus Pico, to a private citizen as a land grant in 1846, just four days before the United States invaded California. It was sold in 1850, two years after the Mexican Cession that made California a part of the U.S.

When William Wrigley, Jr. purchased controlling interest in Catalina Island in 1919, he set out to make a vacation destination with a Spanish influence, modeling El Paseo de El Encanto Marketplace after Olvera Street, Los Angeles' famous Mexican Marketplace. El Encanto building was the showpiece of William Wrigley Jr.’s early California flare in Avalon, an effort to preserve the traditions and culture of old California. Spanish tile adorns buildings and fountains throughout the city of Avalon. Wrigley invited employees of Mexican decent to work on Catalina and welcomed visitors arriving via Steamer Ships with Mexican Mariachi Bands. Four generations later, the Mexican heritage and influence is alive and well on the island.

Cinco de Mayo Events and more

On Cinco de Mayo we kick off the day with a celebration on the waterfront Wrigley Stage. The City of Avalon presents a fiesta of fun. At 3 pm, Father Dario from the Avalon Catholic Church, will perform a mass. At 4 pm, two of Catalina's local dancing groups, Ballet Folklorico Quetzal and Grupo De Baile Tierra Bella will perform live. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

The celebration continues at the Catalina Island Museum for Art & History. The free Cinco de Mayo event starts at 6 pm and will feature live music by island favorites Sin Frontera, traditional dance performances by Ballet Folklorico Quetzal, Grupo de Baile Tierra Bella and a children's dance group. The entire family will enjoy this fun event that includes face painting and an art project for kids. Local food vendors will be selling popular Mexican dishes.  The event brings the community together in honor of Mexican heritage and pride. Margaritas, wine, beer, and other refreshments will also be available for purchase.  

Local restaurants offer Cinco de Mayo specials

Of course, you can always enjoy a margarita. Find the best places to enjoy a margarita on Catalina. You can also follow our Catalina Taco Trail for delicious, authentic fresh fish tacos, carne asada and more.



Catalina Island
Where to Enjoy a Margarita on Catalina Island 2 / 22

Where to Enjoy a Margarita on Catalina Island

Whether you're celebrating National Margarita Day, Cinco de Mayo or just loving to taste your favorite libations, we have the list of the best places to enjoy a margarita on Catalina Island! 1. Maggie's Blue Rose Located on Crescent Ave, Avalon's front street, Maggie's handmade Margaritas include…

Catalina's Taco Trail 5 / 01

Catalina's Taco Trail

Catalina Island is famous for many things like Buffalo Milk, Bison Burgers and Flying Fish, but did you know that the restaurants on island produce some of the most delicious tacos around? Whether it's a freshly caught swordfish taco, local Catalina lobster or a traditional carne asada taco, we have…