UTAH (ABC4) — Utah welcomes Cinco de Mayo on Friday, May 5. It is a time when many come together to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage. That includes several Utah restaurants that have been gearing up for the big day. 

Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of Mexico’s victory against French troops in the Battle of Puebla in 1862, and for many restaurants ABC4 spoke to, they say it means a time for community and family.

“We are very excited because we wait for this special day every year,” said Maria Vazquez, owner of Maria’s Mexican Grill. “Many American people come and celebrate with us and having families together for me is the best part.”

The restaurant was started by her and her husband Sergio. The couple had worked together in other restaurants for nearly 15 years before deciding to start their own. They have locations in Millcreek and South Jordan.

Armando Garibay, an owner of La Hacienda, has been gearing up for the holiday. He shared that La Hacienda all started with his mother’s dream.

“She is my hero, she raised us all by herself,” Garibay said. “She took us from poverty to the point we didn’t know how poor we were because we had food every day when our friends didn’t… We are the American dream. I’ll never stop being proud of seeing how awesome my mom is.”

The dishes you can try at La Hacienda were created by Garibay’s mother. They’re all made with love, Garibay said.

“Everything you eat here will remind you of my family and my mom,” he said.

He and the Vazquezes said that they always see a big boom in business during Cinco De Mayo and the days surrounding it. They’ve been preparing ahead of time and say they are ready for it.

“It is really busy so we have to do extra food, have extra employees those days, and just try to make sure everybody can get a part of what Cinco de Mayo is, even here in America,” Garibay said.

Maria’s Mexican Grill is filled with tons of colorful decorations for the holiday. Customers can expect to try many tasty homemade dishes like their “Holy Mole” made to look like the Mexican flag and chiles relleno plate.

“I want to give to our customers a little piece from Mexico,” said Maria Vazquez.

The Vazquezes and Garibay said they’re excited to be able to share their passion for food with others and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the community.

“It’s a good day for everybody,” said Sergio Vazquez.

“Come in, have a good time, get some good food, some good tequila, whatever you guys like we will be here for you,” Garibay said.