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Festival brings green
Local businesses get high traffic during festival

Hundreds of people converged on the Village Green shopping center this past weekend for the Festival on the Green, putting some green in local business owner’s pockets.

“This has been a record-setting day for us,” said Gene Wessell, owner of Homespun Craft & Antique Mall, concerning the amount of business the mall’s vendors received April 3.

“We’ve got a lot of traffic here.”

Twenty-five vendors from the antique mall had tents lined up from Stein Mart to the Fresh Market selling jewelry, crafts, antique furniture and collectibles. Wessell said more vendors could be brought in for future festivals.

“We could get more vendors out here, such as Dogwood (Arts Festival) vendors,” he said.

Antiques and crafts were not the only items for sale; tents were set up for the Atlanta Bread Company, Sport and Travel Trailers and Dogwood Arts Festival merchandise. West Bicycles offered free test rides on some of their stock and some booths sold freshly squeezed lemonade and hotdogs and shaved ice.

Other Village Green businesses benefited from the crowd the weekend event brought to the shopping center.

A Stefano’s Chicago Style Pizza representative told a customer that they had “been going hard” since 11 a.m., the time the festival started on April 3.

“I have a cook with a mountain of dishes back there,” the representative said. “We usually wouldn’t have been this busy on a Saturday with the weather this nice.”

Several patrons could be seen carrying bags from other Village Green businesses such as Lissa’s Hallmark Shop and Tuesday Morning. Overall the event’s director, Fares Schlank, owner of West Bicycles in Farragut, located in the Village Green shopping center, said the event was a success.

“A lot of people came out in force,” he said. “They packed the place all day and all parking lots were full. It was a hands-down success.”

Wessell said he would like to see the festival in the town next year and possibly additional festivals.

“I’d like to see more festivals. Maybe even a fall festival,” he said.

Schlank said the prospects of another spring festival are great.

“I’ve already received e-mails from businesses saying ‘Count me in next year,’” he said.

The West Bicycles owner expects the festival to continue growing.

“Between this year and last year it has grown ten-fold,” Schlank said.


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