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Local businesses hope to cash in as National Tom Sawyer Days kicks off

With a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday at the Hannibal Jaycee’s new amphitheater, National Tom Sawyer Days is officially underway. 

As set-up is all but finished, Yasmine Havens at Java Jive said their business is preparing too.

"Usually every year I have somebody bring me to work because while we have public parking, which is actually for the visitors and we want to make sure they have plenty of room to be able to get downtown and enjoy all of the festivities going on." said Havens.

That limited parking due to the hundreds of thousands of visitors the Hannibal Jaycees said are expected to come to town for the week long celebration.

"The hotels kinda book out almost a year in advance for people to stay. They’re going to be going to the restaurants in town, eating and drinking and shopping in the local shops." stated Trisha O’Cheltree with the Hannibal Jaycees.

With temperatures expected to be in the 90s all week, organizers are prepared to make sure everyone stays safe in the extreme heat.

"The ambulance and fire department is going to have water cooling stations down here. We’ll have some sprinklers going so everyone can stay cooled down and enjoy the fun." said O’Cheltree.

Even with the heat, Havens expects a big turn out.

"I’ve been to the Ozarks for the fourth of July. I’ve been to San Francisco for the Fourth of July but I still don’t think anyone puts as much emphasis on the fourth of July as Hannibal does." said Havens.

Events kick off at 8  tomorrow morning.

The Jaycees are hosting the first concert at their new stage tomorrow night when Dylan Scott comes to town.

For a full list of events, click here.


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