Valley Fest makes huge economic impact in Dunlap
The 8th annual Valley Fest kicked off Saturday in Dunlap.
This festival has a huge economic impact on the town’s revenue, and it helps local businesses as well.
Winston Pickett says the majority of the community is supportive of this event, and several of the local businesses sponsor Valley Fest.
Channel 3 spoke with a few people who help make this event a success.
Smack dab in the middle of the 65-mile valley is Dunlap, the home of Valley Fest.
Winston Pickett says other than the Fourth of July, this festival brings in the most people.
He says the economy sees a peak in sales tax.
“All of our eaters outside are busy; our gas stations; all of our resident inns and are full," Winston Pickett, chairman of Valley Fest, said.
Dozens of businesses set up shop at the Valley Fest.
Year after year this food truck starts up the grill, creating long lines.
“They love this stuff!” Michele McCullough, Valley Fest vendor, said. “The curly fries, the frozen lemonade, everything; the smoke sausages are not selling as well as they should, but they're selling.”
Just like this food truck, many of the vendors depend on festivals like this to make money.
“We do sell online mainly on Facebook but we do have a website you can buy off of you as well. But we do like the personal touch meeting new people in person is fun because we love people,” said Beckie Truex, Paparazzi Jewelry Constant.
Some store owners are trying to increase their business.
But 12-year-old Brittanie Thacker is looking to start her career as a singer.
She had her first performance at this year's festival singing "Lost Boy"
Thacker says she didn't let the audience make her nervous.
“Before I went on I was kind of nervous, but when I got on stage I kind of loosened up a little bit, that's when I kind of did my thing,” said Thacker.
In a few weeks, Valley Fest organizers will begin working on next year’s festival.