BLADENSBURG, Md. (DC News Now) — Dozens of people took over Bladensburg Town Hall for the 21st annual “Yule Log” holiday celebration.

“This is just another opportunity for the town government to bring that community together for family fun, a time of celebration of gratitude, just being thankful that we’ve made it this far and for the many blessings that we have, and coming together to feel that sense of connectivity and family,” said Mayor Takisha James.

Last year’s event was on a smaller scale due to COVID-19, but this year, they’re back in full force with both indoor and outdoor options for guests.

“Opening the event to be indoors and outdoors really allowed us to accommodate more of our community members,” James said.

Visitors were greeted by snow, holiday decorations and the Grinch as they approached the doors of Bladensburg Town Hall. Guests bonded over music, food, karaoke, a bonfire and — for the first time this year — smores and a movie in the park.

“It’s so nice, and it’s a wonderful event. I recommend anyone to come out and just enjoy this because it makes you get into the spirit and a lot of haven’t been in the spirit. So it makes you get into the spirit,” said visitor Marissa Barksdale.

“No matter how challenging the times are that they may be facing. We can just provide stable events that they can count on to just come together, uplift them, remind them that they’re not in the battle of life by themselves that we’re here as a community,” said James.

James said the event not only unites the community but gives city leaders an opportunity to hear from constituents.

“It gives them just that window to say, look, I’m having this challenge and I need some help. And so on top of the positive feeling of collaboration and being festive and enjoying the holidays, it gives us time to help people in a very relaxed format,” said James.

Families also got to take home gifts. Organizers are hoping next year’s event will be bigger and better.