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Zerkapalooza affecting businesses downtown - KOAM TV 7

Zerkapalooza affecting businesses downtown

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Many weekends, people leave the 4 states area to experience a new or fun activity. But this weekend, Joplin was the destination. Zerkapalooza is attracting people from all over to downtown Joplin.

The sounds of Proud Mary fill the air in downtown Joplin.  The Zerkapalooza festival is host to 70 bands and hopes to be a draw for music lovers and those looking for fun.

“That's what Zerkapalooza is all about, is about finding a way for people to fall in love with our city," says Callie Hudson, director of Downtown Joplin Alliance.

Big events like this weekend bring in revenue for the city.

“We know that people coming to this city is a contribution through sales tax, no matter where they're spending their money. If its downtown, if it’s on Rangeline, no matter where, as long as they're in this community spending their money we're happy about it," continues Hudson.

Venues like The Gaslight who are hosting bands are seeing an increase in business to both their restaurant and bar.

“Business during Zerkapalooza has been great for us. It’s really kind of given us a shot in the arm for the weekend; normally this is a slow weekend for us. We've had a huge influx in numbers," says owner Jason Wallace.

But for stores further away from the action, it was slow, leaving  some empty tables.

“The actual area where they're performing is on the other end of main street and so it kind of affects us because a lot of people when they drive down they see that area and they think the whole streets blocked off," says Jacqueline Hackett, owner of Hackett Hot Wings.

It’s something festival organizers Live JOMO hopes to change next year.

“If we could find a way to maybe involve them a little bit more in next year it would definitely help. It does hurt a little bit for them but I think in the long run you know everyone's going to benefit," continues Wallace.

Hackett says it's a double edged sword when the event blocks traffic but has the potential to bring in new customers.

“It’s just great for the area because it brings people from other areas that wouldn't be down in Joplin, they come through for that and they get a chance to see the other restaurants and businesses in the area. So it helps us all as a whole."

Many business owners were also pleased to be serving more than just the usual crowd today.

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