KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Rossini Festival finally returned after the pandemic caused a sudden hiatus, leaving organizers no choice but to cancel for the last three years.

The Knoxville Opera artistic director, Brian Salesky said he’s happy it was able to come back this year after much preparation.

“We’ve got five outdoor stages, over 700 performers, and tens of thousands of people here to enjoy the festivities,” Salesky said.

The free celebration highlighted performing arts of all sorts and provided business owners the chance to showcase their own forms of art.

Stephen Mcintyre, a fashion designer from Chattanooga, said the festival gave him a chance to meet new people and share the designs he’s passionate about.

“I’ve been doing fashion designing for about six years,” he said. “I’ve done business in about 14 states and I use images of sculpture, chalk drawing, painting, watercolor, color pencils, magic marker to create the clothing.”

A large variety of different art was seen at the festival. Amelia Galvas said her work is more traditional as she makes brooms.

“It’s fun listening to people’s stories,” she said. “People are buying them for art and for purpose.”

The Rossini Festival had a little something for everybody. It’s a time Salesky described as being meaningful to the community.

“We hope that visitors will really come to appreciate how generous the entirety of Knoxville is to welcoming people to our community,” he said. “It’s our privilege to share what we have, the good fortune that we have here, and we at Knoxville Opera are just a small part of a very large fabric, or quilt if you will, of wonderful arts organizations.”