WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – The Westerville Music and Arts Festival returned for its 48th year after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last two years were a struggle for local artists with the pandemic canceling many of the shows they rely on to make money and connect with customers, but with the return of events like the Westerville Music and Arts Festival, these artists are getting a boom in business to get them back on track.

Even early on a Sunday morning, the event was packed with community members of all ages eager to listen to music or buy art from local artists.

Vendors like photographer Glover Shearron Jr. said Sunday that the event saw a bounce-back beyond what he expected.

“Post COVID, you know, it’s been amazing,” Shearron, owner of G. Shearron Images, said. “We had a tremendous day yesterday. Actually, I was a little surprised just for that day, it’s the second-best show that we’ve, that I’ve ever had here.”

Shearron isn’t the only longtime vendor who saw a spike in sales with the festival’s return. Twisted Tines owner Connie Soto said Saturday was one of the company’s best days ever.

“Just bringing everybody back to get back to normalcy, you know?” Soto said. “We’ve been off and some of them are still canceling. We had a couple in June that still canceled last month, so it’s good that they’re having it and get everyone back to normal.”

Soto and her husband run their business from their home, meaning they rely on these art shows to find new customers, but the return of the even goes beyond the money.

“It feels good and I think everybody feels good about it because we had a busy, busy day yesterday,” said Soto. “It was our best day ever.”

Shearron said getting the community back together had been amazing.

“They’re just eating it up, the public, you know?” he said. “Just happy to redecorate their homes and reconnect with some of the vendors that they haven’t seen in a while.”

The event featured more than 130 vendors and more than 30 musical performances.