SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s annual Stone Soul Festival kicked off Friday night.

The three-day event features food, music, and cultural enrichment. Dozens of vendors selling food, jewelry, and other crafts set up in Blunt Park for the weekend. This is the first year Stone Soul has been held in person since 2019.

The festival in 2020 was held virtually because of the pandemic.

Jimmie Mitchell said, “We need this, everybody’s been locked up for months and months and months and now it’s an opportunity to see people you haven’t seen in a long time. I haven’t seen some of these people in over a year.”

This is the 33rd year of the Stone Soul Festival. It began in 1989 as a reunion picnic for the Mason Square neighborhood.