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ROCK HILL, Mo. – Cinco de Mayo celebrations were going strong Wednesday night across the St. Louis area.

May 5 is like Black Friday for Mexican restaurants, including Hacienda Restaurant in Rock Hill. Alex Rodriguez’s family owns the establishment.

“This is our biggest day of the year and, of course, always Mother’s Day is usually our second so we pack it into one week,” she said.

Last year, no one was here after COVID canceled the party plans.

Jared Humphries was at the restaurant and enjoying the fiesta Wednesday evening.

“This is the first time going back out and I think it would be a good time to come out for Cinco de Mayo,” he said.

To meet the needs of the large crowd, Rodriguez brought in two trucks filled with ice, portable toilets, and tents for liquor and food sales.

The day brought out families and folks from across the area, even south of the border.

Hacienda has recognized this day for decades. The restaurant opened in 1968 when tacos were only 65 cents apiece. They moved to Rock Hill in ‘77.

“Today is kind of more of a festival day,” Rodriguez said. “Everybody’s mingling, they’re munching, they’re hanging out all day.”

Margarita sales soar from the usual 200 a day to about 1,000 on May 5.

“Even people who aren’t margarita drinkers, ‘Hey, it’s Cinco de Mayo, we’re at a Mexican place, so…’” Rodriguez said.

It seemed folks enjoy dancing and celebrating more, the more margaritas they had.