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Businesses cashing in on foot traffic at National Tom Sawyer Days

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Many people will get out for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

In Hannibal, business owners said they're seeing more out-of-towners coming in this weekend which is good for them.

After being closed for weeks do to COVID-19 local business owners said they're glad to see crowds return for National Tom Sawyer Days.

"We cancelled all of our out of town summer vacations," said Stacy Lynn who visited Hannibal today from St. Louis with her family.

Originally they had plans to travel out of state this summer, but those plans became an in-state camping tour instead.

"We wanted something to do for the fourth of July weekend and we're going camping at mark twain lake. But we figured we weren't far from Hannibal, might as well check out this cool historic town, see what's going on, and tomorrow we're going to try and come for the fireworks," said Lynn.

Mississippi Marketplace owner Linda Studer said that's the story she's heard from a lot of people the past few days.

"A lot of times we see people that are coming locally, but this year we're seeing a lot more people that are coming from further away, we've had a lot of people from St. Louis, Springfield, Illinois, so they're going a lot further out in our area," said Studer.

She said usually the National Tom Sawyer Days weekend is a big one, but she's hoping it could be even bigger with more visitors like Lynn to help make up for lost time.

"A lot of people visit Hannibal but it's that influx of the festivals that are really a boost in the arm to us, so we're really hoping to see a big boost this weekend," said Studer.

Lynn said after visiting Hannibal, she might have to come back soon.

"In fact me and my husband were talking and maybe we leave the kids at home next time and do a date night trip up here," said Lynn.

National Tom Sawyer Days will continue Saturday morning with the Hannibal Cannibal and the 4th of July parade.

Schedule of events:

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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