Watermelon Festival aims to boost local economy

WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The yearly Watermelon Festival brings in thousands of people from all over the area and other states, which is helping small business owners and the town of Winterville.

“This is probably the best one I’ve done all summer,” said Hannah Niemaz.

Over 150 vendors pay in advance for a spot at the Watermelon Festival in Winterville. Vendors say their pleased with the cash they’re earning.

“There’s a lot more people, a lot more people are buying and its good weather, and there is more people buying today than all summer,” explained Niemaz.

The owner of Grace Collections, Hannah Niemasz, traveled over an hour to sell her merchandise at the festival. She says it’s the best festival she’s been at all year. “I’ve made back my booth and more than that today, so it’s been really good.”

Booth prices range depending on the type of spot you’re reserving, but vendors tell me it’s worth every penny. “My sales have been great, people just come in. They want their house to smell good, their clothes to smell good and their car, they love it,” said Sharron Grant.

Patrick Reed, a volunteer for the festival, says the event puts Winterville on the map.

“Everybody is spending money, making money, so it just cycles back into the economy towards everything. Higher tax base, more people can go out and expand their employee base,” explained Reed.

The Watermelon Festival has been in Winterville for 30 years.

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