OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The Cinco de Mayo festival in South Omaha is an ideal place for food vendors.
With more than an estimated 120,000 people to make their way to 24th and M streets during the three-day festival for live music, rides, lucha libre, and the parade, which is one of the largest parades in the sate, food vendors set up along the busy street are expecting big business.
"Cinco de Mayo has grown substantially, and we have different foods this year. Not just the mouth watering authentic Mexican foods but we also have Puerto Rican foods, Colombian foods, we have authentic southern bbq, and we also have oriental foods, so it's a great place for foodies," said Anna Hernandez-Valencia, the food vendor coordinator for the event.
Hernandez-Valencia says the festival has more vendors than it's ever had in its triple-decade existence.
"It's a great event," said Jackeline Padron, co-owner of El Caribo con Sabor. "I think you get a little taste of everything. And you don't have to pay for an expensive ticket to go to Mexico. Or Puerto Rico. How about that?"
This year, food vendors are even traveling from surrounding states. Nick Garcia drove three and half hours from Kansas to set up a tamale and green chili booth.
"We went to a couple of Cinco de Mayo festivals in Kansas. They're real small and when we heard about this one and how hard it was to get in, we thought we'd try and bring in our tamales and green chili," said Garcia. "If it goes well and we are invited back next year, we'll bring our big trailer next time."
While businesses want exposure and big profits, many emphasized the importance of sharing Hispanic cultures during the Mexican celebration.