"We get full house and we get it years in advance," says Julie Hambrecht, front desk manager and dining room supervisor at the Lafayette Hotel in Marietta. "We have a waiting list of seven hundred people trying to get in here."
The Lafayette Hotel draws tourists from near and far for the Sternwheel Festival.
"The streets are blocked off of course and the business with the restaurant and the bar; we have a lot of people who have to walk two blocks to get in to eat and they still do it, which is great for us and it's non stop busy in here," Hambrecht says.
Impressed with the main attraction, the sternwheels aren't the only treasures Mason, Ohio resident Joel Mclain finds in the area.
"This is actually my first year, I got invited by a friend to tag along for the trip and I really did enjoy the festival," Mclain says. "I really enjoyed the races today and the fireworks and the music."
This young man visiting from out of town thoroughly enjoyed himself and is already planning a return trip.
"It was well worth tagging along because I've had a wonderful experience," Mclain says. "Now I can tell my family and maybe bring them next year for the festival."
Another visitor has returned for the past twenty years because the festival is a place to kick back for the weekend.
"I believe it's the atmosphere and the different entertainments and the people," says Bill Winebrenner of Doylestown, Ohio.
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