MONCTON, N.B. -- The annual Taco Week in Moncton, N.B. is being extended to two weeks this year in an effort to help support local businesses that need an extra boost.

Chad Steeves is the owner of Tide and Boar Gastropub in Moncton. He says he is looking forward to filling seats and stomachs.

"Taco Week is fun. People in Moncton get really excited," said Steeves. "It actually brings people from outside of Moncton to Moncton."

The festival started on Wednesday and is scheduled to run through to June 30 – giving restaurants the chance to showcase some of their best work.

Last year's Taco Week was cancelled in Moncton due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many restaurant owners say they are thrilled to welcome back customers.

"It just adds an extra element of fun to this time of year throughout the city, so it's really exciting,” says restaurant owner Susan Cormier.

Jared Betts is one of the organizers of Moncton Taco Week. He says the event has grown into something bigger then he could have ever imagined.

"It really became about helping the community, especially during this time," said Betts. "A lot of restaurants had closed down for a while."

Vince Burns, the head chef at The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse in Moncton, says the annual event gives him the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen.

"It kind of gets us out of the box, to create something different and to make something enjoyable for everybody to try," said Burns.

"It brings the community together," said Todd Vanlderstine, the general manager at The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse in Moncton. "It brings the restaurant together, we can all have a chance to show off some creativity and try some new things."

A portion of the proceeds from Moncton Taco Week will go to United Way.