APPOMATTOX, Va. (WFXR) — The 48th annual Appomattox Railroad Festival brought in more than 25,000 guests. Organizers say that’s the highest number of attendees they’ve seen in about 20 years of the festival’s history.
Following the coronavirus pandemic, many local businesses lost traffic, but events this weekend increased business in the area.
Vendor Coordinator Noel Henderson says 130 vendors were lined up along Main Street in downtown Appomattox.
“People were just ready to say goodbye to COVID for a minute, and just get out there and have a blast,” said Henderson. “This was the biggest year population-wise for people walking by their products. You can’t do that anywhere else.”
According to Henderson, lots of vendors sell handcrafted items that were difficult to sell during the pandemic.
Kelli Seagle of Creations by Kelli is one of those vendors. The artist, based in Madison Heights, has been in business for eight years and sells personalized paintings on Facebook.
“In 2019, for instance, I did 32 vendor events. Last year, I did none. So it was a huge impact on me for my business,” said Seagle. “I think people are really wanting to get out and about, socialize, and these are great events for them to do that. And also get some Christmas shopping, too, so that’s always nice.”
Henderson encourages everyone to attend local festivals this year to support people who lost business during the pandemic.
According to Seagle, these local artists and artisans are “people that put their heart and time into making some beautiful, beautiful things.”
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