South Padre Island's 4th of July festivities are in full swing.It's a big change from last year's holiday when Hurricane Alex's aftermath kept most vacationers away from the island.A few days before 4th of July last year, Hurricane Alex made landfall in Mexico.The causeway was closed due to heavy rainfall and strong winds, and the aftermath dampened the festivities but this year, businesses and vacationers are excited to be rain free and are ready to celebrate in full force.Around this time last year, many restaurants were empty."There was flooding on the streets, so not that many people could come in," said "Big Boys" waitress Bianca Alvarado.With high winds and heavy rainfall, category 2 Hurricane Alex hit miles away from South Padre Island but its effects hit home."People were cancelling their reservations, it wasn't very good last year," said Alvarado."Big Boys" wasn't the only business affected.It was just days before 4th of July when the hurricane landed.The city tried their best to clean up the debris left over, but vacationers were still weary to celebrate the holiday there."It still kind of messed up for a few days. We had cancellations and its been a few years before we had a strong 4th of July," said Dan Quandt, the executive director of the South Padre Island visitor and convention bureau.He expects the beaches to be full."It's going real well, we got a little nervous a few days back when we got the rain because there just seems to be something about 4th of July in South Padre Island."Mitchell Wells and his family traveled from McKinney, Texas to enjoy some fun in the sun, and he said things couldn't be better this 4th of July."I like to get away, and I like swimming in the ocean. It's a lot of fun fishing. I like to fish so...it's just fun here," said Wells.Families and friends having fun in the sun and restaurants filling their tables...Happy faces are all around for those that remember last year's Hurricane Alex aftermath.Quandt said since 4th of July falls on a week day this year, families may leave early, but he just hopes families stick around long enough to see the fireworks tonight at 9:15 p.m.