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Thousands walk Cherokee Street for return of Cinco De Mayo festival

The owner of the oldest grocery store on the street said the event would help recover sales slowed during the pandemic.

ST. LOUIS — One of the most diverse events in St. Louis was back Saturday in celebration of Cinco De Mayo.

The Cherokee Street Festival, which shines a light on Hispanic and Latino culture, has not happened in two years due to the pandemic.

Thousands of people flocked the culturally significant south city street where there were vendors, food options and performers lined up.

"It feels wonderful to see people out here celebrating my culture you know. I didn't know people would get so happy for our independence," said Diana Dame, a local.

Carlos Dominiguez was serving up margaritas at Carniceria Latino Americana at California Avenue like always.

They were the first grocery store to hit the street in 1993. 

"We're very happy. Very proud. Being here on the street. Looking at the change that we made on the street," Dominiguez said.

Officials with the Cherokee Street Community Improvement District were pleased with the economic impact.

"Not only is it a great day. A great celebration. But it brings a lot of really important revenue to our street and to our small businesses and we're really thrilled to have it this year in a time when they really need it," said Emily Thenhaus, executive director.

Thenhaus added that it was pivotal to keep the important history in St. Louis alive. 

"You have music of all different styles, all different types of food but really at its core, were celebrating our Mexican community that has anchored the street for more than 20 years," Thenhaus added. 

The event started at 11 a.m. and wrapped up at 10 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to support the street's businesses any day of the week.

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