RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)–During the weekend, thousands of people headed downtown for GalaxyCon at the Raleigh Convention Center. It’s the first time the event has been back in full force since 2019 and before the pandemic.

“It was very exciting to go in at first and see all the people,” 16-year-old Emmaline Sisk said during the last day of the event. Sisk said it was her first time going to GalaxyCon; she said she was nervous at first but then loved every second of it.

Sisk was just one of thousands of people to dress up and head to GalaxyCon. She said when you weren’t at the event, it was a great opportunity to check out Downtown Raleigh.

Businesses along Davie Street said they noticed the large crowds from the event that headed their way.

Employees at Videri Chocolate Factory said the summer is typically a slow time for business because their customers usually come during the holidays. However, the business said that hasn’t been the case this summer: they’ve stayed busy!

Olivia Valieante, who works at Crank Arm Brewing Company, said their business has noticed more people coming through their doors, too. She said, “We have lot of big groups coming in and they’re talking about what they’re going to do after that because there’s a lot stuff to do right now.”

Valieante said they’ve noticed more events happening at the Raleigh Convention Center as well as the Red Hat Amphitheater downtown since they’re only a few blocks away. She said, “Whenever there’s events we definitely do get a lot more business. We’ve been a little busier today than normal, for sure.” Valieante added, “As a bartender, I really appreciate that people are coming out. They’re happy and in a good mood.”

Valieante also said a lot of businesses suffered early on during the pandemic, but now, she’s noticed several new businesses that have recently opened their doors.

Michael Griffin and his son Sufyaan said they recently started their food truck business called MikeNice Empanadas about five months ago. Griffin said they couldn’t have started at a better time.

“It’s been really, really good and with this amount of people…” Griffin said working during the event wasn’t easy as they endured temperatures- sometimes over 100 degrees- inside of the truck. However, Griffin said it was worth it. He added, “Now that everything is opening up, I think people are rushing to get out there and just live life, you know?”

GalaxyCon wrapped up on Sunday, but local businesses say it also left behind a big boost and impact.

Visit Raleigh projected a $19.7 million economic impact from more than 80 events booked for future dates.