EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- Crowds of people along W. Franklin Street were making up for lost time Monday as the Fall Festival returned to Evansville for the first time since 2019.

After last year’s festival was canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, crowds returned to familiar favorites like cold apple cider and fried brain sandwiches. Alex Doane tried the iconic brain sandwich, comparing it to a softer pork tenderloin.

Not only does this week mark the return of the Fall Festival, it also marks the 100th Fall Festival on Evansville’s West Side. Fall Festival official Ryan Beck says it’s “special” to be a part of the event during a milestone year. To mark the anniversary, Beck says people can buy 150 half pot tickets for $100 as a special offer for this year’s event.

While many of the visitors are returning to W. Franklin Street, this year’s event is special for Mackenzie Weinzapfel, who brought her son, to his first Fall Festival. Weinzapfel, whose son was born last year, says she appreciates what the event, the West Side Nut Club, and the vendors do for the community. After last year “was a struggle for everybody,” Weinzapfel says it’s important for her and her family to come back and support others.

Vendors, including longtime Fall Festival staples like the Corpus Christi Chuck Wagon, are happy to be back. Jerry Blanton has worked the Chuck Wagon booth for years and he says everyone he’s seen has been happy to see the booths running, adding he’s seeing people he hasn’t seen in over 18 months.

While it may not be the biggest crowd he’s seen yet, Blanton says he’s happy to be back and helping serve the Corpus Christi mission.