SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Apple Harvest Festival has returned to downtown Southington.

Thousands of people are expected to attend this weekend and next after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, the festival area was packed with people. There was music, games, crafts, food, and fun for all ages. Festival-goers we spoke with say they’re happy it’s back.

Kyana Anderson of Bristol said, “I still think we’re not beyond this, but it’s nice to see people back in swings at fairs and carnivals and all this good stuff.”

One specialty food people couldn’t wait to get their hands on was the apple fritters from Zion Lutheran Church.

Lois Garafola of Zion Lutheran Church in Southington described, “They’re fresh, they’re hot, they’re full of apples. In the cool weather, it’s great!”

The festival, which is one of the largest and longest-running festivals in the northeast, typically draws in more than 100,000 people.

Sunday afternoon, News 8’s own Alyssa Taglia waved from a float in the parade for the festival. Check out her behind-the-scenes moments from the parade on her Facebook page.

Southington Police Department will be on hand again Sunday to help with crowd control and make sure everyone is safe during the six-day event.

Lt. Keith Egan of SPD explained, “We set up roadblocks surrounding the entire Apple Harvest and we have several officers working here at the festival — between the checkpoints over here and officers roaming around as well as on bikes.”

RELATED: Teen stabbed, another in custody after fight involving ‘group of youths’ at Southington Apple Harvest Festival

Southington PD announced Sunday morning they were upping their security after a teen was stabbed during a large fight at the festival Saturday night.