FAYETTEVILLE, N.C (WTVD) -- The 40th annual Dogwood Festival delivered the excitement and fair food that had been missing for two years. Business owners hoped it would give them a boost. Many said consistent foot traffic from festival attendees helped.
"The whole entire team has to chip in and work a lot more hours and days they'd typically work," said Yellow Crayons owner Jerry McDonald. "We do get a lot of residual business the weeks after Dogwood. Like, oh wow, you can do 100 shirts? Oh wow, you can do 50 shirts? Military shirts? 'Mompany' shirts? I've already had five phone calls this morning from people we met at the Dogwood Festival."
Hundreds packed Festival Park for a good time with children enjoying train rides, caricature drawing and much more.
Sesselie Henry was headed to work at the Hummingbird Candle Company. She left home for work a couple of hours early just to secure a good parking spot.
"I knew it was going to be some people, but I didn't know it was going to be that many people," said Henry. "It did overwhelm me. I haven't seen that many people at a group setting in a long time, in years."
According to Executive Director Sarahgrace Snipes, the festival had more than 100 food and business vendors. She said that during the weekend, 215,000 people turned out to show their support. It's the comeback the All-American City needed.
"A lot of people don't realize the economic impact and what we're really doing is bringing business to downtown Fayetteville," said Snipes. "It's a place for the community to come out, hang out, spend time with friends and family and enjoy good live entertainment and everything else."