SOUTHERN COLORADO — Some local businesses are welcoming the Cinco de Mayo holiday with open arms after last year's celebrations looked much different because of the pandemic.
Last year, there was a long line of people outside in the parking lot of Arlene's Beans and Salsa in Monument. That's because only a certain amount of people were allowed indoors. This year, the inside of the restaurant was busy as COVID restrictions have eased in recent weeks.
Bobby Padilla, the co-owner along with his wife, said Cinco de Mayo is the busiest day for them out of the year. In fact, Wednesday morning, before the restaurant even opened, the ticket board in the kitchen was already full of customer's food orders.
"We have a little more latitude. People can walk in and walk out. It has been such a blessing to have that back, to have dine-in back," said Padilla. "Just over the past month, we've seen a huge jump in our sales, so it's been a blessing to have everything back open."
Padilla says sales triple on Cinco de Mayo compared to other day in the year.
"We have everybody, all hands on deck, everyone is putting their hand on the pile today," said Padilla. "We've been prepping all week. We have our whole family, seven children, helping us out."
Meanwhile, staff at Dos Santos in downtown Colorado Springs began decorating for the festivities at five in the morning.
"It's been a crazy week in preparation. It's taken about two weeks to prepare, so we're ready for it," said Lexy Sostheim, the restaurant's general manager. "It's probably our busiest day of the year, we have a lot of our staff members here today."
The restaurant is also offering to-go options, so people can enjoy the celebration at home.
"If you don't feel like getting out, or coming with a crowd, and you can't always come to us, you can take a Cinco de Drinko kit home and enjoy it with friends and family," said Sostheim.
There is an amended statewide mask mandate. The mandate states you're able to remove your masks in public indoor spaces with more than ten people, if at least 80% of people have proof they're vaccinated.