SAN JOSE, Calif. - This weekend, expect to see big crowds and extra police patrols as San Jose celebrates Cinco de Mayo. Not only does Cinco de Mayo fall on a Saturday this year, but there's also a watch party for the Sharks game Friday night. At least 1,000 fans are expected at the official watch party in San Pedro Square for Game 5 of the playoffs.
In East San Jose on King Road, Gissela Monzo’s pride of her cultural heritage is on full display as she waves the Mexican flag ahead of Cinco de Mayo festivities.
“I believe it's important because of our heritage especially with everything that's going on,” said Monzo. “With the politics, that's going on and immigration, it's not fair.”
Monzo sold 20 flags in two hours including one to a 3-year-old boy. Proceeds will help her mother's chemotherapy treatments.
Elsewhere in San Jose, merchants are selling Cinco de Mayo merchandise on Story Road. Cars are expected to cruise along Santa Clara Street.
At Olla Cocina at San Pedro Square, the restaurant is stocking up with extra tequila and beer and staffing up with six security guards. It’s their biggest day of the year. Business jumps 50 percent.
“We’ve been prepping for our party for the last few months,” said Olla Cocina General Manager Stacy Fogolin. “We have our access to the back patio. We are expecting hundreds of people.”
“The momentum of the playoffs series is great,” said Doug Bentz, San Jose Sharks Vice President of Marketing. “We've seen a lot of fans turn out for everything we've done during this playoff run.”
1,000 Sharks fans are expected to turn up in teal for a viewing party in San Pedro Square. The Sharks are looking to take the lead in a tight two even series. San Pedro Square Market has hired extra security.
San Jose Police said it has a plan in place assigning additional officers to monitor cruising hot spots.
In past Cinco de Mayos, violence has sometimes erupted on the streets. In 2014, police arrested more than 30 people. The CHP is planning a DUI checkpoint in the Alum Rock area.
“We will put them on or near a date that has historically or traditionally been a day where people drink a lot,” said Officer Ross Lee of CHP San Jose.
“It’s going to get crazy this weekend, it's going to be pretty packed,” said Monzo.
Monzo hopes revelers party responsibly and not take away from the spirit of the holiday.
“There’s a lot of dangers,” said Monzo. “You never know what could happen. Just keep it fun and safe for all the kids especially there's going to be kids in the car.”
If it wasn't already a busy weekend, there's a Hall and Oates concert Friday night at the SAP Center with more than 10,000 people in attendance.