‘Guac-off’ among Cinco de Mayo festivities

Different ways to celebrate Saturday offered in Langley, Oak Harbor

Think your guacamole is muy delicioso?

Roaming Radish of Langley invites you to put it to the test during its first-ever Cinco de Mayo Guac-off, beginning 6 p.m. Saturday.

“We’ll do a blind taste test, maybe with some celebrity judges,” said co-owner Jess Dowdell. ”They’ll also be a people’s choice award.”

First prize is $100; second prize $50 and third prize, “lots of Roaming Radish swag,” she said.

For $10, people can sample the guacamole with chips and fresh salsa; tacos, quesadillas and drinks will be available to order. Live traditional Mexican music is also scheduled.

Roaming Radish runs a catering company and a gastropub in the woods of Langley that also includes gardens, a pond and an English Tudor house for lodging.

Situated in an old airplane hangar, its restaurant and bar is usually only open 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

But it couldn’t pass up a fun opportunity to celebrate the holiday, which falls on a Saturday this year. A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, it celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France.

Via social media, word has spread about the contest; a crowd of wannabe guacamole gourmands is expected.

“The response we’ve gotten is overwhelmingly,” chef Jon Paul Dowdell said. “We’ve been thinking about this for two years. We wanted to have something fun for the staff to do and if other people want to join us, all the better.”

El Cazador in Oak Harbor will be cooking up special dishes both Friday and Saturday.

A mariachi band will play in the restaurant 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, El Caz is featuring a “Mexican Style Cinco de Mayo” with all screens tuned to the Golovkin v. Martirosyan middleweight boxing championship live on HBO.

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts is celebrating with a Cinco de Mayo Concert and Celebration for the first time beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday with dance music, snacks and no-host bar.

Then, the East L.A. band, Las Cafeteras, takes to the stage from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Using traditional Son Jarocho instruments such as the jarana, requinto, quijada (donkey jawbone) and tarima (a wooden platform), Las Cafeteras sing in English, Spanish and Spanglish, and add a remix of sounds, from rock to hip-hop to rancheras.

The Los Angeles Times describes the group as a “uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock … live, they’re magnetic.”

Cinco de Mayo information: To enter Roaming Radish guacamole contest, call 360.331.5939 or email: info@roamingrad ish.com WICA Las Cafeteras concert; tickets: $22 adults; $20 youth; there’s no cover charge for the fiesta before the show; www.wicaonline.org

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