CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – For the first time since the pandemic began, the Charleston Vandalia Festival is back in full swing.

This year’s theme was “family reunion” so attendees saw many “West Virginia favorites” like Appalachian and bluegrass music as well as many food favorites.

“For this year we wanted to try to keep it traditional since it was the first year really having the full festival in like two years,” explained Adam Jones, the events manager for the Department of Arts Culture and History and an organizer for the festival.

Organizers say after not being able to have the festival they’re excited to see such a great turnout.

“For a growing year, not having it for two years, we’re extremely excited. There’s people everywhere, I mean it’s family reunion. So, we got all the family back,” said Jones.

Many attendees say after missing a few years they were excited to return and see their specific favorite.

One attendee, Cherry Rankin said she was excited for the food and to be out with family. “I came here, and I want my fried green tomato sandwich,” she said.

“Just playing with the friends and family. That’s probably the most excitement that I can think of,” said John Fattaleh, a festival musician.

Only nonprofit food businesses were present at the festival and they say the festival being back in full swing helps them a lot.   

“It’s a major fundraiser, so that means more charitable work we can do and more money we raise,” explained Richard Fauss, with Knights of Columbus.