JAMESVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — One of the oldest festivals in North Carolina is making a huge comeback.

Jamesville town officials say the Herring Festival has been put on a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19. There were also talks of canceling the festival in 2023 due to a lack of volunteers. After a town meeting in August, the community organized a volunteer group to help keep the iconic festival up and running.

According to NCPedia.com, the Jamesville Herring Festival, now called the North Carolina Herring Festival at Jamesville, is a three-day event held annually on Easter Weekend. It began in 1949 as a way for the herring fisheries to celebrate the fish’s springtime spawning runs, according to the organization’s website and its Facebook page.

Jamesville Mayor Craig Tucker said the community support in making the festival happen shows how much it means to everyone.

“I hear people, as I talk throughout the community, how they grew up in this little town and how important this festival was,” Tucker said. “I have people that are my age now that say ‘I remember the festival as a kid, and I looked forward to the festival more than I did Christmas.”

The next volunteer meeting will take place on Sept. 28. The festival will be held Easter weekend in 2023.