BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – Binghamton’s grooviest event returned to the South Washington Street Bridge over the weekend.

Local and regional bands performed on the big stage at the intersection of Washington Street and North Shore Drive for the 22nd annual Blues on the Bridge. The free event ran from noon to 10 p.m. and drew a crowd of around 8,000 people for a day of great music and great weather.

Blues on the Bridge began in 2002 as a way to give local bands the chance to perform in front of a larger audience. Co-Founder Donny Wilkins says he’s proud of himself, fellow co-founder Tommy Martinos, and the City of Binghamton.

“It just such a wonderment and I’m really happy. I’ve forged a friendship, a lifelong friendship, with Tom Martinos and I think both of us are always astounded every year because it gets bigger and bigger. You can tell it’s going to be crazy here in a little while. I’m so happy to do this. It’s probably one of the only things in my life that I’ve done right,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins says Blues on the Bridge used to be held on a Sunday but was switched to Saturday last year to accommodate more people. He says it’s grown into a full-fledged outdoor rock concert.