Old Settlers Days Kicks Off in Rockton

ROCKTON (WIFR) -- It’s opening night of Rockton’s Old Settlers Days festival.

"Let's hope the weather holds out for us,” Rockton Chamber of Commerce Director Ryan Rydell said.

Some local businesses say they're excited because organizers say they’re expecting bigger crowds than last year.

“We get a lot of people that wouldn’t normally be in the area that come for the festival,” Minnihan’s Irish Pub Owner Michelle Minnihan said. “They trickle into town and, yeah it helps [with business]. It definitely helps."

“It's impossible to gauge exactly how beneficial it can be,” Rydell said, “but one thing we know is it's not going to hurt.”

Since Rockford won't have “On the Waterfront” this year, some in Rockton feel Old Settlers Days may become the Stateline’s biggest summer music draw.

"I don't want to say that we benefit from the demise of other very successful, popular events of the past, but certainly people are going to look to this as their area festival at this point," Rydell said.

“I feel sad to see another organization that wasn't able to continue that musical tradition," Rockton Lions Club’s Monique Weaver said. The Lions Club has managed the festival for over a decade.

Rockton Mayor Dale Adams says he feels Rockford will benefit from the crowds.

“Rockton has no hotels…and motels,” Adams said. “Certainly the surrounding areas benefit from people coming in to spend the night or spending a couple days."

The Rockton Lions Club says they feel this year’s festival could be the biggest in years.

Old Settlers Days runs from now through Sunday

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