SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The clock has nearly run out for Cinco de Mayo — a celebration that commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French empire back in 1862.

And for many, it’s a night to pack local restaurants and bars to celebrate Mexican culture, and after two years of COVID-19 restrictions, it turned out to be a great time for food, friends, and fun.

While some cruised outdoors in Sacramento, others celebrated inside.

“Cinco is definitely one of those holidays where everyone enjoys it, and we get to dress up,” said Nolan Sarabia, with Zocalo.

It’s a day many local restaurants looked forward to, and Zocalo in midtown is no exception. For many of the restaurants in Sacramento, Cinco de Mayo is one of their bigger celebrations, and after the pandemic, they are just thankful things have returned back to normal.

“We are just so excited to enjoy life without mask mandate,” Sarabia said. “We are just trying to pack the house. Have a great time, just try to take care of our customers.”

Zocalo expected around 1,000 people for Thursday. For Diana Espinoza and her friends, this celebration was special

“It’s a long time in the making, so it’s great to be out here with friends and family. It’s great to be out again,” Espinoza said. “We are just happy that it’s over and we are here, enjoying and celebrating.”