WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WENY) -- The 27th annual Waterfront Festival returned to Watkins Glen today. Festivities took place in front of the Seneca Lake harbor.  

Thousands came out to celebrate together. Local vendors served people food, drinks, and gave them opportunities to shop. Laurie Denardo, the head chair of the festival, said the event was a huge success.  

“It's been great, you know, the weather wasn't very favorable this morning...the water temperature was 59-degrees,” she said. “But sun came out, blue skies, the wind is as bit nippy but we just had a blast.” 

Denardo said she is overjoyed to have the community back together for the event after a two-year hiatus. 

“It's been wonderful,” she said. "People are smiling and loving it and happy and it's great to be back.” 

Denardo said locals loved to enjoy Elmira's rock band, Rust, after the cardboard boat regatta that took place in the early afternoon. The band played for three hours straight. 

Watkins Glen resident Gary Murrelle went to the festival to enjoy the local breweries and watch the regatta. He said he enjoyed listening to live music with his friends. 

“The band is good,” he said.  

Denardo said this event is a summer staple for Watkins Glen. Each year, it gets bigger and bigger. 

“It's a great economic development opportunity for us but that's really not how we look at it,” she said. "We like to bring people together...we have six events throughout the year...this is just one of the stellar events and people just absolutely love it.”