Posted: Jul 23, 2012 8:27 AM by Keele Smith - KPAX News
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 10:30 AM
POLSON- The 13th annual Polson Main Street Flathead Cherry Festival wrapped up over the weekend.
Thousands of people show up each year to get their share of the Flathead fruit and as cherry growers were selling their crops, local businesses were bringing in the green.
"It's very good for all of us," Cherry Festival Organizing Committee member Tali Barron said. "Whether it's like I said, the restaurants, the gas stations, the hotels, the RV parks. You know, these people travel a long way to be able to participate in this festival."
People flock from miles around for the two-day event and everyone needs a place to stay for the weekend.
"I don't know what else is going on that would bring people in to fill our motel," Port Polson Inn owner Annie Engebretson said. "Now's the
time that we have to fill that motel and fill these rooms and the cherry festival helps bring those people in."
Organizers say the cherry festival is one of the biggest annual events in Polson and even local residents join the crowd for a stroll down Main Street.
"We came and we spent money, so everybody else that's here, they're coming and spending money," summer resident Wayne Carmack said. "The people that put up booths and the stores that open their doors. Everybody's making money and that's all good for the economy."
Vendors sell a variety of cherry products...like food, beverages and desserts. Fresh cherries are also a big seller, but for some growers the festival isn't all about making a buck.
"We get to sell our cherry wares and we get to introduce people to what we do at our orchard which is the most important thing for us," co-owner of Fat Robin Orchard & Farm Lise Rousseau Silva said.
The cherry festival is a win-win for everyone involved as it helps local farmers and businesses while boosting Polson's economy.
Organizers are moving the festival from July to August next year when more of the famous Flathead cherries are ready for harvest.