Cinco de Mayo at The Cantina in Mill Valley. Courtesy image.

There’s no shortage of Cinco de Mayo parties in Mill Valley each year, but few go as big as the folks at the Cantina.

They’re back at it on May 3-5, bringing in 25 tons of sand to create their usual temporary beach on half of their parking lot at 651 East Blithedale Avenue at Camino Alto. While the beach sets the scene, it’s only part of the celebration, which also includes music, a trio of bounce houses and a huge sandbox provides entertainment for all ages.

The Cantina’s kitchen will be serving up its full menu of fajitas, quesadillas, enchiladas and Mexican specialties served from umbrella-covered tables set in the sand.

The Cantina has a rich history in Mill Valley, first opening in 1980. Grammy award-winning guitarist Carlos Santana, in a partnership with DSE Corp., took over the Cantina in 2007, only to close it three years later. After extensive renovations, the Hodge Company, which owns the small shopping center that includes the Cantina and Body Kinetics, reopened the restaurant in 2010, handing the keys to managing partner Joe Collins and returning the restaurant to its staples of familiar Cal-Mex cuisine and fresh margaritas and an ever-popular happy hour (Monday through Friday, 4pm to 7pm). They added lunch service a year later.

The 411: The Cantina hosts a massive Cinco de Mayo celebration May 3-5, starting at 5pm Friday and running through Sunday evening. No reservations. MORE INFO.

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