By Alicia Roberts

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This weekend is a balancing act between life back to normal and smoldering concerns over the surging COVID-19 Delta variant and mask debates. What’s back in Fairmount Park, live music and sandwiches at HoagieNation 2021, presented by Dietz & Watson. CBS3 is a proud sponsor of the event, and we spoke with fans eager to get back after more than a year of COVID closures.

Saturday, fans were taking it all in after a year without.

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Music and food fill the Mann Center on Saturday for HoagieNation 2021.

“It’s great to be here,” Detrick Honeycutt said. “It feels good, great atmosphere, great people.”

Nearly 10,000 guests packed their chairs and came out early to sample some hoagie classics from sandwich shops across the city, fueling up for a night filled with dancing and live performances on two stages.

“Live music in the summertime, that’s what it’s all about,” Suzanne Parsons said.

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Including this year’s headline performers who had fans waiting in anticipation.

“Kool and the Gang and Hall and Oates,” Honeycutt said.

“Hall and Oates. I’ve loved them since I was a kid,” Daphne Bradley said, “so I’m super excited to finally see them.”

Fans were also excited to see another legend in the house.

CBS3 anchor Ukee Washington with a roaring welcome from CBS3 nation, showing off some signature moves as he welcomed the night’s performers.

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For many, this was the first live concert since COVID-19 shut down large events and with cases once again on the rise, they’re hoping it won’t be the last.

Alicia Roberts