National Tom Sawyer Days Already Good for Some Hannibal Businesses
National Tom Sawyer Days officially began on June 30, though many of the annual events and activities will not take place until July 4. Even so, the event has already attracted extra business to some downtown Hannibal merchants.
"It's been busy since this past weekend; it started picking up," said Katy Welch, owner of Java Jive. "We actually Monday morning were out of about four different kinds of ice cream and we normally keep a reserve on hand, so we went through even that on all of those."
Mike Polster of Badger Cheese Haus says he's also kept busy, "the people are coming in. They're coming from all over the place." Polster has been trying to help his customers figure out what events are taking place, "some of them are not aware of what's going on, but they're getting involved in the middle of it. Some of them are not aware of the craft show that's going on up at the park, so I let them know to go up there. They're just going around town checking out the different things." He's also been happy to see some repeat business from out-of-town visitors, "there's some faces from last year that I'm seeing, also."
Frank North with Becky's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Emporium is very pleased with the way National Tom Sawyer Days is set up, "it's kind of all around town and it spreads everybody out a little bit, so it's not so busy all the time. It's good and steady for us." Of course the recent heat wave is good for the ice cream business, too. When asked what was popular on Becky's menu, North answered, "it kind of depends on how old you are. If you're under 10, we have a birthday cake ice cream that's really good. If you're an adult, the butter pecan always seems to be the best."
While business has been good for some of the downtown food and drink vendors, not all businesses are seeing an increase in traffic. "Actually, we haven't seen a lot of traffic, yet," said Crystal Lain from Danni Nicole's, who attributes this to the holiday falling in the middle of the week. Compared to years past, Lain says this year things may even be a little slower, "it's kind of hard to compare...I think we're a little less busy this year, but it's so hard to tell." Still, Lain is hopeful for some additional business during the Independence Day holiday, and upcoming weekend, "We're anticipating some improvement in traffic, and really hoping to see people out and about."
National Tom Sawyer Days activities will continue throughout the week, and through Sunday.