Local Businesses Benefit from Venetian Festival Visitors

Charlevoix is already a summer hot spot, but the annual Venetian Festival really ramps up the activity.

The week-long festival has evolved into a northern Michigan favorite.

This year, Charlevoix’s main street is blocked off for the festival, keeping downtown truly bustling with activity.

More than 80 years ago this festival was started by a simple candle-lit boat parade, but today, there’s food trucks, all kinds of vendors, and people everywhere.

It’s a week that everyone in town looks forward to because of the fun, and the boost for businesses.

Kathy Weldon is a co-owner of The Poppery, a popcorn shop in town. 

“We have the smell going out the front and the back door. I would say we do three or four times the business during Venetian than we do on a regular summer weekend.”

The Poppery says by opening their front door, the scent of popcorn is luring Venetian visitors into their shop.

Matt Teuscher is the bar manager at the Bridge Street Tap Room, and he hopes their view has the same affect on visitors. 

“By far probably the best location view for fireworks out of anywhere in town. People will be fighting for those window tables on Friday and Saturday.”

As the weekend nears, things are only expected to get busier.

The President of Charlevoix’s Chamber of Commerce, Alison Hubbard, said, “Venetian is definitely our peak week of the summer for visitors and downtown traffic.”

For the first time ever, the city will have this whole main stretch of US-31 closed and traffic will be detoured around to the bridge.

There will be all kinds of activities in the streets, and it will be great for the downtown businesses and a much safer festival environment for everyone.