WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN) - Smoke on the Water wrapped up Saturday after a big turnout at downtown Washington.
The event hosted by the Washington Noon Rotary returned to in-person this year after it was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
“It’s been a fantastic festival and we are just so proud,” said event organizer, Pam Anderson. “We give all of the money back to nonprofits in need and we thank all of the community for supporting us and coming out and contributing like they did.”
Anderson says the Rotary group saw more entries for the vendor and cooking competition slots than ever before.
“It’s amazing to come back after the COVID and everything and see so many people support us,” said Anderson.
Not only does this festival bring dollars to the Rotary’s charity beneficiaries, but local retailers were able to share in the increase of visitors.
Mike Mizell, owner of Main Street Scoops Ice Cream and Candy had to open his doors several hours early to keep up with the demand for sweet treats.
“Years ago, I actually used to cook. And it’s definitively different from the cooking side to the retail side, said Mizell. “It’s been a right good crowd.”
Attendees were able to take a closer look under the hoods of old and new model vehicles at the Car Show. Participant Bob Benson was eager to show off his remodeled wheels after the pandemic kept crowds for gathering.
“It’s outstanding! I’m just happy to get out and enjoy the people,” said Benson.
The joy of this year’s festival back in full swing was felt by all.
“I think this year, bringing the festival back after COVID, was a huge success. I hope it continues,” said Mizell.
Visit North Carolina reports Beaufort County visitor spending decreased by 22.7% in 2020, but with events as successful as this weekend’s Smoke on the Water festival, this year’s tourism turnout is looking better.
Every story you see here is written, filmed, edited, fronted, and day-turned by Maddie. As an MMJ with WITN, she really does it all!