FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Dogwood Festival was back in Eastern North Carolina after two years of cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Sunday, the festival wrapped up a four-day event that brought a big boom to the town economically.
“It’s really important to keep a small town alive by supporting local business.” said one vendor, Melanie Waters.
The festival didn’t only provide food, games, rides and entertainment, but it was also important for the economy post-COVID-19.
“Oh, it is a tremendous boost for the town. To Farmville in many ways, number one coming out of COVID, just the morale, people were excited to be outside, be a part of the festival, it is such an integral part of Farmville,” said Dan Taylor, chairman of the Dogwood Festival.
Farmville has a population of around 5,000 people and the festival brings in locals and people from out of town.
“People are coming here to spend their money, to participate in all the activities of the town, they get to be more aware of how and what the town offers,” said Ivan Pineda of Greenville.
During the pandemic, vendors and small businesses took a major hit, which made it even more important for vendors to be at the festival this year.
“Vendors have been hurting. So it was really important to be out here today,” said New York’s Finest vendor Debra Bell.
For new businesses, the festival allowed them to showcase their products.
“For my business and for most of the guys out here, this is our only chance to get into with the public. So this is really really important that we’re able to be out here,” said Ann Hurdle, a vendor with Sew Blessed Designs.
Officials said the four-day festival brought in 15,000 to 20,000 people.
“We’re so proud to be able to roll out the red carpet and welcome folks to Farmville because we have a lot to offer here and a quality-driven festival,” said Taylor.
Event organizers and vendors stressed how important it is for events like the Dogwood Fest to continue. They said being out and interacting with the public is what helps their business stay open.