KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — Thousands of Ohioans flooded Delco Park for Kettering’s Go Fourth Holiday Celebrations on Monday. Many vendors and residents said they were just glad to celebrate in person once again.

“We know we’re still in the pandemic but it feels good to be back, have everyone come out and just enjoy the fireworks,” said KONA Ice Manager Yvonne Reichel.

For some families, it had been several years since their children heard the thunder of fireworks once again.

“We really love being out here, for my little girl who’s four, she grew up for the first couple of years not being able to go out, we built a gym at home to keep her entertained but we are here and she is able to see fireworks again,” said resident Lee.

Other residents said it makes sense for the community to return to normal Fourth of July in-person celebrations.

“Some concerns obviously, the pandemic is still going on, COVID-19 is still out there so taking the necessary precautions but being able to get out and enjoy the nature, atmosphere this brings, feels great to be back,” said resident Bill Essen.

Twenty-two food trucks lined Delco Park, including Dayton’s Rolling Indulgence Food Truck. They came in third on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. Chef Drew Ballard said nothing beats grilling out on the 4th of July.

“We spent the last two years fighting for the business and keeping the dream alive, now we’re finally back and able to do big events,” said Chef Ballard. “It’s a dream come true to make it through these years and finally have a platform to just go.”