Cinco Celebration

The biggest block party in Laughlin is back at the Tropicana this weekend as Happy Times Events hosts the Cinco Celebration & Car Show Friday-Saturday, May 6-7.

Happy Times producers Louie and Cynthia Rojas are excited to bring this car show back to the area. The couple, from San Bernardino, California, is celebrating their 19th year doing car shows in Laughlin, as well as their 44th wedding anniversary. This Cinco party is the perfect way to celebrate, with car enthusiasts driving in from all over to show their classic beauties, listen to great live bands and have some fun.

“This is a special year for us,” Louie Rojas said. “I want to thank all my crew and family for their hard work and dedication, and with the help and collaboration of the Tropicana, we’re the biggest block party in Laughlin. Everybody jumps right in to help.”

The collaboration between the Rojas’ and the Tropicana certainly has culminated a huge event that is a staple on the Laughlin calendar each year, along with their second car show, Viva Tropicana, each September.

“Mostly we want to thank the Tropicana for the opportunity they’ve given us to bring these car shows to the property and to watch them grow,” Louie said.

Another person who helps with the show’s success is Larry Armenta of  High Desert Unique Photography, the event photographer who provides car show photos for the “Laughlin Entertainer” every year as well.

Early May is prime time for an event in Laughlin, with temperatures on the rise for water fun, but not yet stifling. Participants travel from all of the surrounding areas to get in on the action.

“We have people who come from all over — L.A., San Diego, from all over California, Arizona, Las Vegas, and people up north even,” Rojas added. “People take their vacation time to come out here to Laughlin with their families to do the show, the lake, the river, everything.”

For those coming in a day early, there will be early registration from noon-5 p.m. Thursday at the Tropicana North Parking Lot. Registration will continue from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Saturday (cash only). It costs $35 to enter a vehicle and $25 for bicycles.

There is 24-hour security on the lot to keep cars safe overnight.

There will be dozens of awards given out, from Best Original Restored, to Special Interest and even Furthest Distance Traveled. Judging will start at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and the awards presentation will be 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Car show viewing is free to the public and will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

At 11 a.m. Saturday there will be a prayer by Mario Moncada from Team Moncada Prayer Warriors and a moment of silence for loved ones who have been lost in the past two years. This show missed the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be plenty of activities and entertainment for participants and viewers. DJ Manny & MC Angel Baby from Maciel Productions will be spinning outside on the lot 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

There will be around 30 vendors at the show selling all kinds of apparel and accessories, car accessories and Happy Times Events shirts will be for sale.

The popular “Grito Contest,” will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the DJ booth. This contest is the Mexican version of “Shoot & Holler” contests staged at chili cook-offs where contestants squeal like a stuck pig. In the “Grito Contest,” contestants yell out their best “Aye! Aye! Aye!” to a song. There is no fee to enter and the contest is open to the general public with male and female categories. Both the male and female winners receive trophies.

“I put hats on them and give them a song, and they get judged by the applause,” Rojas said.

The fun spills over into Victory Plaza along Casino Drive in front of the Tropicana, and in Tango’s Lounge within the casino.

Dance parties in Victory Plaza are Friday and Saturday featuring live bands each night. Balance featuring Sammy Medina will perform from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday and 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday. Smooth Groove will perform from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday and 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday.

Inside at Tango’s there is even more great entertainment. Thee Champagne Band will perform from 7 p.m.-midnight Thursday, 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday and 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday. Midnite Cruzzers will play from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday and 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday.

The Tropicana is the spot to purchase any food and drinks during the show as well. Enjoy delicious burgers and brews on tap at Brew Brothers, have a slice of pizza or pasta at Passagio, order breakfast, lunch and dinner at Carnegie’s Café, grab a quick snack at Poolside Café or try out the new sandwich shop, Port of Subs.