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ST. LOUIS — St. Louis celebrated Cinco de Mayo on Thursday, and business was booming for restaurants throughout the area.

Despite some rain, restaurants had no shortage of customers during the annual celebration. Miles McNillin, a manager at Taco Buddha in University City, said this was one of the eatery’s busiest Cinco de Mayo’s in years.

“Some people like to call it Christmas because it’s kind of our biggest day of the year,” he said. “I sold out in our carry-out orders by 4:30 p.m. A lot of planning goes into getting the day together, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Some customers had to wait over an hour for a table but enjoyed the atmosphere and did not mind.

“Going out for Cinco de Mayo was like an absolutely impossible situation,” said patron Jenn Haney. “So to feel like we’re kind of getting to some normality is so nice.”

Hacienda Mexican Restaurant on Manchester Road celebrated with live bands, food, drinks, and a patio full of customers. Over on Cherokee Street, sombreros and smiles were a welcomed sight in Little Mexico. It was a celebration of not only culture but socializing once again.

“I’m being a person again and enjoying social things,” said Haney. “It’s like ridiculous. It’s so healthy, and we needed it.”

The Cinco de May celebrations continue into the weekend. Cherokee Street is having a big festival on Saturday.