By Jasmine Payoute

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Roots Picnic was in full swing at The Mann Center Saturday night. One of the big headliners is Philadelphia’s own Jazmine Sullivan.

Chopper 3 caught thousands of attendees in the crowd enjoying the music. 

Attendees Enjoy Return Of Roots Picnic To Philadelphia After 2 Year Pandemic Pause: ‘It Feels Like We’re Getting Back To Normal’

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To say people were excited for the Roots Picnic would be an understatement. Organizers say this is what happens when you have an event curated by Philadelphia for Philadelphia.

It’s a celebration of music, art, and culture in the City of Brotherly Love.

“Really cool to see folks from out of town coming to Philly to kind of share in our culture, super, super dope,” Ashli Roberts said. 

After a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Roots Picnic is back and it’s bigger.

“I’ve come to the Roots Picnic before but obviously we haven’t had it for a couple of years because of COVID, so we’ve been excited pretty much all year since they told us that the Roots Picnic was coming back to the city COVID free,” Roberts said. 

Attendees Enjoy Return Of Roots Picnic To Philadelphia After 2 Year Pandemic Pause: ‘It Feels Like We’re Getting Back To Normal’

Saturday festival goers walked into The Mann Center campus for day one of the two day event.

They’re expecting about 60,000 people.

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“You can definitely tell that everybody is like super excited to be out of the house, not having to wear masks and stuff, yeah, it’s pretty crazy actually seeing this many people at once,” Chris Crosby said. 

And the lineup is legendary as artists like Philadelphia’s own Jazmine Sullivan and Mary J Blige hit the stage.

But even with performances being top of mind, some say COVID is still a concern.

Attendees Enjoy Return Of Roots Picnic To Philly After 2 Year Pandemic Pause

“I’m a teacher so I think about it a lot,” one woman said. “Because we’re still wearing masks all the time, every day in my school. We’re not used to being so close to people and so many people.”

As people take in the food, fun and fashion, many say this is a taste of what they’ve been missing.

“I’m just keeping it classy, very budget friendly and cute,” another woman said. 

“I’m loving it,” one woman said. “I’m loving being around a bunch of people. I’m not going to lie, it feels like we’re getting back to normal for sure.”

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Several people we spoke with said they were coming from out of town and this was their first time in Philadelphia, showing the festival’s impact. It runs all weekend.

Jasmine Payoute