NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — It’s finally back – the 39th annual French Quarter Fest has found its way back to New Orleans after a two-year hiatus.

“Are you ready for the French Quarter Festival?! Let me hear you loud and clear!” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell – kicking off the festival at the G.E. Stage in Jackson Square.

The iconic celebration attracts many to the quarter – including locals.

“It’s awesome because when the pandemic hit it was like a ghost town in the City of New Orleans,” said New Orleans native Barry Vance Gillett.

Festivals are a key part of the culture in southeast Louisiana. Many say the French Quarter Fest symbolizes New Orleans’s triumphant return to festival season.

“The French Quarter is like our ja la vive, ya know?” said Jennifer Jones. Her outfit, covered with beads and color, was inspired by spring in New Orleans.

Some say this festival is the best way to sample New Orleans culture.

Tens of thousands of festival-goers are anticipated. The party is expected to bring in around $190 million dollars to the economy.

“There is no where else that you can see over 1,800 musicians over the course of four days,” said President and CEO of French Quarter Festivals, Inc. Emily Madero.

The festival consists of more than 50 vendors, lots of music and flowing drinks.

The spirit of New Orleans shining bright through the festival.

“This is French quarter fest, this is New Orleans – we are BACK!!!” Shouted Jones.

The festival runs through Sunday, April 24th.