SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — After shutdowns started just before Cinco de Mayo in 2020, local Mexican restaurants said restrictions are dropping just in time in 2021.
Mexican restaurants in Springfield said they are happy to be able to see customers back, they missed them from last year when they couldn’t offer any dine-in seating, and it didn’t feel like a real celebration.
“We’re here all fiesta no siesta all night long,” said Zachary Huesgen, general manager at Los Cabos, “this is our busiest day of the year. We plan for months for this day.”
Los Cabos didn’t get to throw the complete Cinco de Mayo celebration last year.
This year, they had live music, balloon animal artists and local business 417 Travel was there giving away a free vacation to Los Cabos.
“We had a plan last year, and of course, the COVID kind of killed that plan, so we’re making up for two years of Cinco de Mayo,” said Travis Paquin, co-owner of 417 Travel. “Travel’s hot right now, revenge travel everyone missed out on last year.”
Over at Tortilleria Perches, owner Jesus Perches said it feels more like a celebration this year.
“Cinco de Mayo is actually the battle of Puebla, where Mexico actually defeated the french,” said Manny Torres, catering manager at Tortilleria Perches, who’s also from Mexico, “living here in Springfield, we don’t get the opportunity to celebrate part of our culture from back home.”
Reilly Smith, a customer, said he enjoys celebrating on this day.
“I love it, I love the music, the ambiance, the decoration,” said Reilly Smith.
Kenny and Reilly Smith are regulars to Tortilleria Perches.
“we’ve been coming for years, and they know everyone in our family,” said Kenny Smith.
El Sombrero is also packed with a line going out the door.
“It is very exciting,” said Catherine Guerra, an employee at El Sombrero, “especially since vaccines, more people come out, especially older people, a lot of people we didn’t see for years. It’s really nice to see them again.”