BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — Friday marks the 61st annual Mum Festival in Bristol. 

This year’s theme is “Mumma Mia, Here we Grow Again” — but organizers say there’s less focus on the flower and more focus on food, fun and family.

“We got to ride to rides!” said 10-year-old Payton White, who added the rollercoaster was her favorite attraction.

The three-day event features rides, vendors, food trucks, and eight entertainment acts through the weekend. 

But what makes the festivities different from others around the Nutmeg state is its history.

Organizers tell us they celebrate the chrysanthemum, known as their hometown flower. 

“We used to have mum growers in town, and they would open up their fields of mums,” said Maria Salice, member of Bristol’s Mum Festival Committee. “You’d see fields and fields of mums, and people used to come from all over.”

Now the plants are simply placed as decoration.

Salice says despite rain in this weekend’s forecast, they’re making accommodations and the festival is expected to go on rain or shine.

“Many of the activities that wouldn’t have been under tents are now under tents,” Salice said. “We moved things around a little bit just so that people don’t get completely soaked.”

People we spoke with say the festival builds community.

The White family says they moved to Bristol from Washington State two years ago, and this gathering helps them become more familiar with their new home. 

“The food trucks are from local areas, and you get to know some of the people, some of the restaurants,” said Jake White. “You just get to see other people that are in the area and you just get to know them.”

The Mum Festival continues from 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The annual Mum Festival Parade steps off from Race Street at 1:30 PM on Sunday.

The celebration also includes free parking and free admission.