1. See the garden at its best. Every spring, around early May, the thousands of rose blooms in the Cowden Rose Garden go bonkers and put on quite a colorful show. Perfect viewing for a sunny Sunday stroll.

2. All food, beverages and entertainment are included in the ticket price. Yep, that’s right. Savory appetizers such as mini chimichangas, taquitos and empanadas will jump-start everyone’s taste buds, to be followed by freshly-made tacos with all the fixings, salsa, guacamole, and special Mexican doughnuts for dessert, all donated by the incredible Elisa’s Catering/Flavors of Cali food truck. Quench your thirst with frozen margaritas, craft beer and agua fresca, and if you’re feeling frisky, try samples of unique tequila and test our salsa “heat scale.” All included!

3. Three’s a charm. Our first Fiesta fundraiser, Fiesta de Jardin, “wowed” the crowd of nearly 300 with its Cuban flair and festive atmosphere in 2017. Last year, we explored cuisines and cultures of Latin America at Fiesta Nueva. Now for year three, we’ve kicked the party up another notch, Mexican-style in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, and we’re hoping to raise more funds than ever before to support The Gardens.

4. Frozen margaritas on demand. Tangy, tropical and oh-so-refreshing — that’s what we love about frozen margaritas. We’ll be pouring two flavors throughout the event, so you’ll want to grab a glass (or two) to keep cool and relaxed.

5. Help us engage young children with nature and teach them about the environment. Did you know that The Gardens’ youth education program brings natural and environmental science classes to over 20,000 kids in Contra Costa County each year? Funding for these school programs, on subjects like pollination, geology, composting, seeds, native plants and more, comes in part from money raised at Fiesta and other fundraisers.

6. Your attendance at this event will also make a difference in the garden. Thousands of visitors wander our paths monthly, admiring the garden spaces and taking in the pretty scenery. But all that beauty doesn’t happen by itself. As a nonprofit organization, we not only depend on volunteers to help with pruning and weeding each week, but also rely on annual fundraising to provide dollars for purchasing new plants, fixing irrigation issues, and developing new areas of the garden for public enjoyment.

7. Authentic Mariachi music is the icing on the Cinco de Mayo cake. One of the SF Bay Area’s best professional mariachi bands, Mariachi Mi Mexico led by Alejandro Chavez, will wander the gardens and perform, creating the perfect party atmosphere. Their amazing blend of guitar, violin, trumpet and vocals will make you wish it was Cinco de Mayo every day.

8. Tequila tasting, no experience required. Whether you’re an aficionado or new to this “nectar” made from blue agave, everyone will have fun tasting samples of different tequilas. Tap into your taste buds and see which one you like best. All attendees will receive a complimentary souvenir shot glass!

9. It’s the perfect weekend getaway, right around the corner. Looking for an easy “stay-cation” experience? Need a break from the kids or grandkids? Escape (virtually) to cities south of the border, such as Cabo San Lucas, Guadalajara or Mexico City. Relax in the garden while enjoying tasty tacos, margaritas, Mexican guitar music, and more, all without even getting on a plane.

10. Eat good, do good, feel good. At Fiesta Cinco de Mayo, you’ll get all the amazing event features mentioned above, while also helping the community, and helping The Gardens reach our goals. We depend on your support.

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