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FloydFest underway, local businesses very happy

By David Kaplan, dkaplan@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 25 2013 04:42:59 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 25 2013 07:43:14 PM EDT

It kicked off this afternoon and organizers say it's bigger and better than ever.

FLOYD, Va. -

Right now, Patrick and Floyd Counties sound a little different.

The 12th Annual FloydFest officially kicked off at 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

This was the first year the music and arts festival actually sold out. Click here to see more pictures.

If we're getting technical, the festival actually takes place across the county line in Patrick County.

Either way, people are excited. Thursday was the first day of the festival, and people moved in to get ready to camp out for the weekend.

The festival has almost 110 acts performing in the next four days.

15,000 people will attend this year's FloydFest. 

Festival organizers say the event has grown around 30% every year.

"It's a wonderful feeling to know that when you see something and believe in it and you keep it authentic and sincere that you can actually make it a reality. So we have dug in the past twelve years knowing that we were going to get to this point," said festival organizer Kris Hodges.

In nearby Floyd County, the biggest indicator that this is the big weekend for Floyd; the stoplight in the county has a long line of cars.

"It's just a great time for people in Floyd in terms of traffic coming through," said Roger Hollandsworth. Hollandsworth owns a convenience store in downtown Floyd.

Some convenience stores tried to lure people by warning them how 'out there' this festival really is; on their marquees they warned it's tough to get gas past downtown.

Others just know more people are coming through, and that means more people are stopping.

"I'd say it probably increases our business about 20%-25%," said Hollandsworth.

Hodges told us Floydfest has consistently grown 30% every year.

They say people who come back year after year know the area and look forward to the festival every year.

"It's definitely one of the busiest weekends we have all year long, it's a slow and steady build, people start coming earlier and earlier every year," said Justine Church, a manager a Oddfellas Cantina in Floyd.

For most businesses, the initial rush was Wednesday when people arrived into town and then it's steady through the weekend.

"We stay steady all weekend because the weather's not great or want to come into town," said Church.

It's that long-term relationship between FloydFest and Floyd County that's been mutually benefitial for business owners here, whether or not the business owners realize it or not.

"There have been more here than usual, so I thought something must be going on with all the traffic and people stopping in," said Sandra Stiltner, selling secondhand antiques in downtown Floyd.