CLINTON, Ind. and CASEY, Ill. - It's the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day weekend.
And with it comes festivals scattered across the Wabash Valley.
But it's more than just fun and games for families, it's bringing in revenue for the towns.
Wine and popcorn. Who knew these two items generate thousands in revenue for the Wabash Valley?
"There's a revenue for a lot more than the individuals,” said Matt Zanandrea, board of directors.
The Wine Garden in Clinton, Indiana has been a staple at the Little Italy festival for almost fifty years.
"A group of local people here wanted to stir some life here in this town,” said Ken Colombo, Second V.P.
The seats in the Wine Garden fill with more than a 1,000 people each night on labor day weekend.
"Many generations, come back into town to reminisces and this is the time, we're at Labor Day weekend,” said Zanandrea.
Across the state line in Casey, Illinois, the popcorn festival is jumping.
And it brings in people from all over the state, 40,000 each year.
"It's huge. Not just in our city but the cities around us. We impact Effingham, Charleston, Mattoon area as well,” said Bernie Morgan, popcorn festival promoter.
All of this traffic trooping through these two festivals means money. Money that's much needed in these small communities.
It spreads beyond the festival and the businesses playing a part.
Everyone across the valley reaps rewards from newcomers and those returning to their home town.
"Those people went elsewhere. They have to stay somewhere, hotels. They have to buy gas. They have to buy groceries. So, yes, there's a lot of other individuals in town that do prosper,” said Zanandrea.
"We have a lot of people that stay in motels up there because our local motels are full,” said Morgan.
Both the Little Italy festival and the popcorn festival will be open through Monday.
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