PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to descend on Providence this weekend as the capital city welcomes back PVDFest.

The free downtown arts festival returned on Friday after taking two years off due to the pandemic.

On Saturday, the festival was back in full swing — nine outdoor stages and the streets were bustling with excitement.

“Two years, pandemic, we’ve been shutdown you look around– local businesses everybody’s out in the street,” Bob Whitney said.

“It’s so exciting to be able to see my friends, no masks, see everyone’s smiling faces and just grab a quick drink with some best friends. There’s nothing better, look at this beautiful day, there’s just nothing better,” Carlie Rosemark said.