Rose Festival Means Big Bucks

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Preparations for the Rose Festival are nearing completion.

Derek Benton, a TCCHS band member, said, "We're all pumped, ready to go, and by the end you're really tired and just ready to go home, but it's just a lot of fun."

And much of that excitement is spilling over to local merchants who recall past Rose Festival success.

Ben Golden, co-owner of Savannah Moon Café, said, "Business probably increased by about 40 percent on Friday and Saturday; it really turns out good. We're trying to do some extra things for it and of course bring a lot of extra stock and everything, so we're looking to be real busy."

And after a long day of taking in the roses, visitors will need a place to rest their head. Many Thomasville hotels are already full.

Lynn Connell, manager of Jameson Inn, said, "It's going to be real busy, a real busy weekend."

But not all visitors are seeking temporary arrangements. Local realtors say many are looking to become permanent residents.

Julie Bryan, owner of Remax Thomasville, said, "We're going to be ready, we're going to be here. We'll have agents that are going to be ready to go out and show and we're ready."

So as merchants apply the finishing touches and visitors pour into the Rose City, the countdown to the Rose Festival is almost complete.

The 85th Annual Rose Festival kicks off at seven o'clock Thursday night with the children's Rose Bud Parade.