Economic Impact of Cedar Key Arts Festival
CEDAR KEY - A festival that has taken four months to prepare is coming together this weekend. For Cedar Key, a town with 800 people, tourism and things like its festivals are what make it run.
Old Florida Celebration of the Arts Festival Coordinator says, "In this town people are hard working people and you have oystermen and the clammers and it's a hard life that they do... But also a wonderful life bringing us amazing seafood. A festival like this brings attention to them brings people coming in to try it. And eat and to enjoy it and to take it home all of this adds and supports the economy that we have out here on Cedar Key."
It expected that the event bring more than 20,000 people and 160 tents with artists. Making the art festival a big deal for local business. The owner of Kayak Cedar Keys tells me the festival attracts many first time visitors that later come back to rent his kayaks. Tom Liebert, the owner of Kayak Cedar Keys says, "The long term benefit is the real gain and I love the festival. I look forward to it every year and people do come for the art."
Tony's Clam Chowder a local restaurant says they've been preparing for this festival, two weeks now. Kellie Parkin, Tony's Clam Chowder Vice-President says, "It's a very big impact just in preparation. It feels like we're fitting every bit of those 20,000 people that are coming into town for the weekend. It's actually very fun, very exhilarating."
Matsons right hand in making the festival happen, has been her husband John Matson. He says they are trying something new this year. He also said, "We have a feeling Cedar Key inspires a great deal of creativity and in this process this year we are going to award hearts to each of the artists, given by the public that go around and identify what art inspires them."
For the Matson's this is their first time putting together the cedar key art festival, however they hope it won't be their last. The festival runs through Sunday.
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