A weekend of racing and festivities is big business when you're in business in Marietta. Each year the Riverfront Roar explodes into town and brings hundreds of new customers to local merchants. One look down the Riverfront Roar fairway and anyone can see there's not shortage of selection. From food to gifts, businesses far and wide can benefit from the massive crowds.
"It's always good that more people know that we are here," explains Debbie Jett, a designer with Discount Signs & Awnings. "We're pretty well known right here in Marietta, the community. But the outside areas, like Belpre or Parkersburg, maybe aren't as familiar. So, it definitely gets our name out there and people realize what we do."
Discount Signs & Awnings has been in Marietta for about 8 years but it's not just the long established businesses that benefit from the influx of customers. Cosmic Kettle Corn is only two years old and large events like the 'Roar' help them find a new audience for their very new idea and product.
"Our corn is locally grown and sustainably farmed," says Aaron King, a partner with Cosmic Kettle Corn. "What that means, primarily, is that our farmer has a background in Ecology. He studies how to keep the earth at it's natural balance. So, the soil in which this corn grows is very rich and full of nutrients and because of the practices it helps to restore our land. Which is great not only for our food product but for our future"
From soil to serving, the Cosmic product is as unique as the methods used to make it. King says the Riverfront Roar allows Cosmic Kettle Corn to take root in an community.
"One of the great things about Marietta is that it's a really historic town. The river boat races are huge and what's great is that the community comes out and supports it," King adds. "So, what that allows for us to do as a business is grow organically. We grow through one on one relationships with the community."
A weekend full of business, food, fun and races is what any local merchant could hope for.