VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Neptune Festival, but it's back on for this weekend at the Oceanfront.
"Take back the beach. That's what it's all about," said Barry Scott from Virginia Beach. He and his wife attend every year, except for last year. "When [tourists] leave, it's time for us to come down and have an opportunity to enjoy the beach, because it's our beach, after all."
Big crowds are expected for the festival this year, along with nice weather.
"Last year was weird in so many ways," said Carol Crumwell of Virginia Beach. "[My husband and I] are delighted it's back."
Festival organizers say the festival has an economic impact of over $20 million. There's the famous sand sculpting competition, live music, a parade and plenty more going on.
"It brings a lot of visibility. We are able to reach a lot of people," said Chelsea Pfeifer, from EQUI-KIDS, an organization that offers therapeutic horse riding.
The organization has a booth along the boardwalk for the first time, but because they're a local organization they know the importance of the festival.
"It's huge," Pfeifer said. "Everybody has had a rough year, so it's just nice to be able to get back out and see everybody again and get things going."