This weekend over one hundred thousand people will descend on Warrens, Wisconsin, for the Cranberry Festival. Fox 25/48’s Zach Prelutsky tells us why this small village will feel the impact well beyond just this weekend.
When the world’s largest cranberry festival opens on Friday, the village of Warrens will go from 400 people to over 100,000.
While the festival may only run one weekend out of the year, the economic impact it leaves on this small village is felt for a long time.
President of Warrens Cranberry Festival Deanna Donaldson says the festival is a great way to give back.
“The whole reason we have the festival is so we can donate back into the community and we’ve donated right around three million dollars back into the village of Warrens.”
Village president of Warrens Jason Krultz says the impact goes just beyond receiving a check from the festival.
“They’ve helped the village with sidewalk improvements, the elementary school in town Warrens Elementary computer lab, the fire department has been a big recipient of things, equipment, trucks. They help keep our property taxes in check.”
When the festival opens Friday morning, there are expected to be over 1200 booths in Warrens, making quite the economic impact.
Pat Kowal has been coming to the Cranberry Festival for the past quarter decade as a vendor and sees year after year what this small town turns in to.
“Well I think for them it’s probably chaos (laughter), but it’s a welcome chaos you know because all the stores and stuff make money.”
For most residents living in Warrens it’s not chaos but a chance to showcase their village and help make the festival a continued success.
“You walk up and down the street and talk to any number of residents and ask what are you involved in over this weekend, you’ll be shocked. Warrens is a community of volunteers and we really thrive on that concept for this weekend.”
Warrens Cranberry Festival has grown leaps and bounds since the first one 45 years ago that was attended by 3500 people.
In Warrens, Zach Prelutsky, Fox 25/48 News at Nine.