Heritage Foundation reports $8.2 million in economic impact from 2021 festivals | Local News

The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County and the Downtown Franklin Association announced Wednesday the results of a year-long economic impact study conducted during the Main Street Festival, PumpkinFest and Dickens of a Christmas.

Over the total four festival days in 2021, approximately 253,000 attendees generated $747,000 in estimated tax revenue and spent $8,258,000 on shopping, dining, entertainment and transportation in the area.

Despite the significant economic impact of the year’s festivals, 2021 did not allow for the typical festival scenario. The Main Street Festival, traditionally held in April, has been postponed to July 17 and 18 due to public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, bad weather caused the one-day cancellation of Dickens of a Christmas, which is normally a two-day festival.

“The original intent of these festivals, beginning in 1984 with the Main Street Festival, was to draw visitors to downtown Franklin, spotlight its local merchants, and bring the community together for seasonal celebrations,” said Bari Beasley, president and CEO of the Williamson County Heritage Foundation. “While the cultural impact of these festivals is immeasurable, we are delighted that research tangibly attests to this annual boon to our economy.”

The study was conducted by Chandlerthinks, a Franklin-based firm specializing in branding, strategic planning and destination research. The research was carried out through one-on-one interviews at each festival and followed by online surveys.

“The overall economic impact of the 2021 festivals in downtown Franklin is impressive,” said Greg Fuson, director of research and community engagement for Chandlerthinks. “What makes them even more impressive is the fact that bad weather hindered both PumpkinFest and Dickens from a Christmas. These studies show that coming out of COVID, people were ready to go out and spend money.

The dates for the 2022 festivals are April 23 and 24 for the 38th Annual Main Street Festival, October 29 for the 37th Annual Pumpkin Festival and December 10 and 11 for the 37th Dickens Birthday of a Christmas.

For more information about the festival, visit www.events.WilliamsonHeritage.org.

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