Friday marks the start of the 6th annual downtown Fridays in Santa Maria.
The community event includes 25 food trucks, live music, 75 vendors, and giveaways.
“This year we already have 15 more booths than we did last year. So, we are packed in here tonight. I got a waiting list to try to get into the event," said event coordinator Ed Carcarey.
Carcarey says there has been an increase in small businesses wanting to participate as more people became entrepreneurs during the pandemic. While the event was held last year, event organizers and businesses participating say this time around there are not as many COVID-19 restrictions, giving the event a whole new meaning.
“More importantly, I think it’s a social aspect. You get to be a part of your community especially because we’ve been locked up for two years people get to come out again," said Carcarey.
“This means there is more opportunity for small businesses like us so it helps out a lot of families which is a good thing and just has the community as one," said Carlos Gonzalez, with the Cocina Hernandez booth.
Small businesses also say that the different foods and activities are a chance to show pride in their city and culture.
“It really holds true to the culture we have in Santa Maria. I feel like it’s so important to keep especially the Latino culture alive here in Santa Maria," said Coach Frankie.
Admission and parking for Downtown Fridays are free and it will be happening every Friday in Santa Maria until September 30th at the Town Center West parking lot near Broadway and Cook Street.