TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KTEN) -- After being unable to host in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  Blue River Healthcare in Tishomingo staged a fun fall festival for its nursing home residents on Friday.

"It's really exciting for them," said staffer Jana Cardinalle. "They have to keep their masks on, of course, but from what it was before COVID to now, at least we get to gather around and have a cookout. This is the happiest I’ve seen this place since everything started.”

Residents enjoyed a petting zoo, food, and a cake walk throughout the day. 

"The employees are just excited as the residents,” Cardinalle said

“It's just so nice to see everyone smile and be out and about and not being cooped anymore," Blue River Healthcare staffer Adell Philips said.

Nursing home employees say they have been looking forward to finally getting the chance to do something fun for their residents.

"We have a great community that has made sure everyone pulled together to make this happen," Cardinalle said.  “A lot of donations -- especially for the cakewalk and the hot dogs for residents and employees," said staffer Leah Korb.

The festival started at around 11 o'clock Friday morning.