MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Several spring events returned for the first time since the pandemic, including the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, where thousands filled the streets of downtown Memphis throughout Saturday.

Just off the banks of the Mississippi River, thousands flocked to downtown Memphis to mark the return of the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival.

Last year, the event was drive-thru only, and in 2020 it was canceled. Despite the setbacks, organizers decided to move forward with plans.

“In short, we’re back,” organizer Rob Hughes said. “COVID, obviously, was a disruption for everybody, but it means so much for the community to come back out. Supporting Porter Lee’s mission is really important. This is a staple event for Memphis, and we’re thrilled to make sure we’re back.”

Down the street at the Renasant Convention Center, the Memphis International Auto Show returned this weekend, giving folks the opportunity to see new vehicles up close and in person for free.

“We’ve got a little bit of everything for you here,” said Ryan McElroy, president of Memphis’ Auto Dealers Association.

“So many interesting things to see,” Memphis Auto Show spokesperson Dee Dee Taft said. “First of all, we’re back after being gone for two years because of COVID. Super happy to be back at center with all the models and manufacturers.”

Meanwhile in Midtown, preparations are well underway for Beale Street Music Festival, which is being held at the Liberty Bowl due to construction in Tom Lee Park. While the backdrop will look different, organizers say attendees can expect the same product.

“It’s a spark that is like no other. I’m excited to see it in person again,” said Randy Blevins, vice president of marketing and programming for Memphis in May.

He admits that after back-to-back years of cancellations, it’s surreal to have the event returning.

“It’s kind of like I put the band back together and that’s what it feels like,” Blevins said. “There is a level of excitement, familiarity, but kind of rusty a little bit. We know we should be doing this. Yeah, this feels right.”

All of the events’ organizers said safety and security is among their top priorities.