Mexican Fiesta returns to Milwaukee's lakefront after pandemic hiatus

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Mexican Fiesta is back after a one-year absence due to COVID-19.

The three-day event has been a Milwaukee staple for more than four decades and showcases the city's Hispanic community with food, music and traditional customs.

In 2020, the festival was cancelled because of the pandemic, but its return this year is a proud moment for organizers and participants.

"It's back and it's better than ever," Margarita Sandoval Skare, the genealogy booth coordinator at the festival told CBS 58. "We have lots of exhibits, the musicians have returned, the folkloric dancers are beautiful, the mariachi music will be here."

Thousands are set to arrive to Henry Maier Festival Park for the event that runs through Sunday.

There is no vaccine or negative COVID-19 test required to enter, but masks are recommended for indoor spaces. There are also vaccine clinics all three days of the festival.

Mexican Fiesta comes on the heels of Irish Fest's return as well as precedes Summerfest coming back on Sept. 2. The festivals arrive as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase in Wisconsin.

But even as large crowds fill the park, some attendees say they are comfortable.

"I feel completely safe I have been vaccinated, my husband has been vaccinated," Sylvia Ornelas of Joliet, Ill. Said.

Others, however, have concerns about large crowds.

"It's good, I still want to gauge it I still want to make sure there's still not too many people around, because I'm still nervous about things like that too," Dana from Mequon said.

Dana's husband, Shawn, echoed that sentiment and said Mexican Fiesta was a way to test their comfort level with large gatherings.

"It's good to gauge how we feel, how others are reacting," Shawn said. "So I think this is a good start to bringing things back to normal."

Mexican Fiesta runs from noon to midnight Aug. 27, 28 and 29. For more information, CLICK HERE

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