CHICAGO (WLS) -- Preparations started months ago, and Thursday Fiesta Del Sol kicked off in Pilsen.
There are fewer vendors this year to provide more space between booths, all to help with social distancing. Some hope it will be a lucrative and safe weekend, especially after the festival was canceled in 2020.
"I'm excited, but I'm also nervous because it's huge," said Anthony Solis, co-owner of Prime Taco. "This is probably one of the biggest festivals we ever did."
"I know it will be a little harder for people to social distance, but we are still hoping to have that as much as possible so that we are all safe," said Miriam Gama, Fasinarte Artesanias Mexicanas.
Organizers made changes due to the pandemic to try and keep visitors and participants safe, nad want anyone who is feeling ill to stay home.
"You don't want to jeopardize anyone's health much less you don't want to ruin the summer for everyone," said Alex Garcia, Fiesta Del Sol co-chair.
Among the changes are free COVID vaccinations at Alivio Medical Center's vaccination site at 21st and Morgan. The Center's COVID team leader had five deaths in her family and she hopes those hesitant will take the vaccine this weekend.
"They've come to Fiesta Del Sol before for other services so I hope they will trust us again with this COVId vaccine," said Lauren Angeles., COVID team leader.
Organizers are encouraging volunteers to get daily COVID tests and for everyone to wear masks.