Sign Up For The Loop!

Cinco De Mayo & Santa Monica

Published on May 3, 2023

The Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel will be lit red, white, and green on Friday, May 5 in recognition of Cinco De Mayo.

Cinco de Mayo is a festive holiday that has become widely celebrated in the United States, particularly in the city of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas like Santa Monica. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, and has become a time to celebrate Mexican culture, food, music, and dance.

Los Angeles is home to a large Mexican-American population, and Cinco de Mayo is an opportunity to celebrate the community’s heritage and contributions to the city’s culture. One of the ways Mexican culture has impacted Los Angeles and Santa Monica is through its cuisine. Mexican food has become a staple in all of Southern California, with numerous Mexican restaurants and food trucks offering traditional dishes like tacos, pozole, and chile rellenos. In Santa Monica, visitors can enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine at popular spots like Mercado, Blue Plate Taco, and El Cholo.

In addition to food, Mexican music and dance are also a significant part of Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. The cities host various cultural events and festivals that showcase Mexican music and dance, such as the Fiesta Broadway in Los Angeles.

Mexican-American culture also influences the art scene in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Mexican artists have made a significant impact on the region’s art world, with many galleries and museums showcasing their work. The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, just south of Los Angeles, features an extensive collection of Mexican art. Current exhibitions feature Yolanda Gonzalez & Tania Candiani.

Cinco de Mayo is a time to celebrate Mexican culture and its influence on the Los Angeles and Santa Monica communities. From food to music to art, Mexican-American culture has become an integral part of the fabric of these cities. As the holiday approaches, locals and visitors alike can enjoy the vibrant festivities and reflect on the rich heritage and contributions of the Mexican-American community. If you’re looking for some seaside celebrations, come on down to the Pier where you can celebrate with games, rides, food & friends!

The Pacific Wheel will be lit in red, white, and green for Cinco De Mayo.

This special lighting event will take place on the evening of Friday, May 5. The Ferris wheel lights can be seen from dusk until 11:35 PM each evening. Enjoy watching the light program online at

Special Lighting of the Pacific Wheel for Cinco De Mayo

Friday, May 5
dusk (around 7:30 PM) to midnight

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier


Pacific Park regularly programs the Ferris wheel to display seasonal programing and themed light designs for holidays and special occasions. The Pacific Wheel’s state-of-the-art lighting package was installed in 2016 and can display over 1.6 million different colors and animate patterns and icons in 24 frames per second. The energy efficient LEDs on the face of the Ferris wheel are powered by solar arrays inside Pacific Park. The light programs are curated and designed by Pacific Park staff. Each design is manually animated; some designs can take hours of programming. The aim is to provide fun, high-energy, and sometimes whimsical designs to entertain guests on the Santa Monica Pier and surrounding beaches.


Feature image courtesy of @seanmullicanphoto