Downtown Wilmington businesses cash in on Riverfest


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Every year, Riverfest is known for attracting tens of thousands of people. The free two-day street festival shows off what historic downtown Wilmington has to offer.

Some local business associates told WWAY they were on their feet this weekend all because their businesses were in the mix.

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“I don’t feel ignored and neither do any of the local shops,” said Cape Fear Spice Merchants owner Andrea Davis.

Davis says she’s appreciates the attention Riverfest has brought the store since it opened five years ago.

“There’s a lot more people this year for some reason, which I am very grateful for,” Davis said.

Davis says this why a lot of local shops don’t close their doors. Over at ‘Unleashed’, employee Ashton Whitley says it gives people time to explore more than just what’s happening outside.

“They’re just kind of wandering around the tents and they’ll see oh look at that flag that we can hang on our front porch, and its kind of the same thing with oh look its a puppy store… lets go see,” Whitley said.

A group of Wilmingtonians created the festival back in the 1970’s to showcase the historic downtown and Cape Fear River. Since then, it has progressed into a cultural street festival, consisting of dozens of vendors, and attracting tens of thousands of locals and tourists.

Kayli Kreais says there was a lot to do.

“We love going through the tents and going through the shops,” Kreais said.

Some people say they’ve anticipated this festival.