Cinco de Mayo usually elicits thoughts of sombreros, Mexican cuisine and brightly colored pinatas in the shape of miniature burros.

In Ogunquit next weekend, it will elicit chorus singing, fundraising and a beach barbecue.

Ogunquit’s Cinco de Mayo celebration opens Friday with a Red Ribbon Party at Front Porch on Shore Road from 5 to 9 p.m.

With a $10 suggested donation at the door, the event is raising funds to support the Frannie Peabody Center, a Portland nonprofit that provides HIV/AIDS prevention services to at-risk groups and direct services to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Red ribbons and pins will be handed out at the door, so attendees can show their support for AIDS awareness. Of course, the signature red cocktail isn’t a bad way to get in the fundraising spirit, either.

The time-and-talent auction at the beginning of the night features donated services such as figure skating lessons, massages and veterinary services. Bid your way to a well-deserved rubdown or checkup for the pooch.

After the auction, the touring ensemble of the Maine Gay Men’s Chorus entertains the crowd, starting at 8:15 p.m.

The Friday night revelry moves to Oxygen Cafe and Lounge on Main Street, where Ogunquit’s own Khris Francis performs from 9 to 10 p.m. He’s been dubbed the “Don Rickles of gay comedy” and isn’t shy about showcasing his singing voice.

The night closes out at Maine-street, also on Main Street, with a drag show hosted by Aboyda Stragg, from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Folks shouldn’t loiter too late, though, because the Beach & Bay 5K Run or Walk for AIDS starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ogunquit Beach.

Register at the beach from 10 to 11 a.m. that day or online at The walk follows the sand to Moody Beach, where walkers and runners will turn around and head back to the starting line for a Cinco de Mayo-inspired beach barbecue. Walking is free, although rounding up donations is encouraged. Registration for runners is $25.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be cooking on the grill at the 5K finish line – and the grub is free for run/walk participants. O Dos Mexican Grill (which officially opens May 5) will serve up some south-of-the-border food (or “comida,” if we want to show off our Spanish).

Beachgoers can take a swing at the pinata or participate in the Mexican hat dance, and there will also be prizes and awards for the 5K runners and walkers.

Folks who didn’t participate in the 5K are welcome to come down and eat up, although a small donation is encouraged. Proceeds from the day’s events will also go to the Frannie Peabody Center. The cookout runs from noon to 2 p.m.

Saturday evening, the choral group Women Singing OUT! takes the stage at the Dunaway Center. The performance begins at 7 p.m., and event proceeds are split between AIDS Response Seacoast and the Frannie Peabody Center. Admission is $10 in advance or $12 at the door, and tickets can be purchased online at

Ogunquit’s Cinco de Mayo celebration might look a bit different from the parties going on elsewhere. But all of the weekend’s events help raise funds for local nonprofits. And that’s something worth celebrating, too.

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 822-4056 or at:

[email protected]

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