NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — New London is the place to be this weekend with the return of Sailfest.

While there is much to enjoy, security also remains a concern. 

From live music to vendors, food, and games and rides, Sailfest is back, and bringing life to downtown New London once again.  

Danielle Monty spent the day making memories with her husband and daughter.  

“It’s nice to get back out and be around other people,” Monty said. “Especially when you have a little one and you know you want to do fun things with them and have them have a nice childhood.” 

After a two-year hiatus amid the pandemic, the festival is continuing to entertain families this weekend, just as it has for more than 40 years. 

Officials planned for a crowd of 250,000 over the three-day event and started organizing security months in advance. 

Following recent mass casualty events across the country, like at the July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois, members of the local police union expressed concerns about low staff levels ahead of Sailfest.  

Mayor Michael Passero and New London Police Captain Matthew Galante said they are always preparing for the unthinkable.  

“We share the police union’s concerns, but we believe that we’ve planned for every eventuality,” Passero said.  

State and federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security teamed up with New London police and officers from neighboring municipalities to ensure everyone is safe.  

Galante said so far, they haven’t encountered any issues. They hope it stays that way.  

“We hope that people feel safe, and see the law enforcement presence here and know that we’re doing our jobs to the best of our ability,” Galante said.  

Many families at the festival told News 8 that is how they felt walking the streets Saturday afternoon, including Maria Rohena of Hartford.  

“I have a lot of faith and I’m here, and I want to enjoy my family,” Rohena said.  

All were excited to end the night watching bright colors light up the sky.