Festivals keep Medicine Park's economy thriving - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Festivals keep Medicine Park's economy thriving

MEDICINE PARK, Okla._Shop owners in Medicine Park are tallying up their profits Monday after a big weekend thanks to the Mayor's Blues Ball.

Crowds were out in full force for the three-day festival, but shop owners know they can't count on that kind of traffic every weekend. To survive those slow cold winters, shop owners must rake in as much as they can during those special events.

It was one of Medicine Park's biggest festivals yet. One shop owner said she was so busy during the three days she couldn't lift her head to see how big the crowds really were.

"We had a lot of people here. Everybody seemed to be having a wonderful time. It was great," said Cyndi Hardesty, owner of White Buffalo Trading Post.

The huge crowds mean increased revenue, and for Hardesty, who works full-time as a teacher in Blanchard, that means she's one step closer to her dream.

"It has helped my store to grow. Every year I make a little more money than the year before, which falls right into my hand of retirement," said Hardesty.

In order for her store and others in the town to survive year round they need the festivals like the Mayor's Blues Ball.

"To make it through the winter months when you still gotta pay rent, still gotta pay the utilities, and your insurance. I've learned over these years to kind of plan for that to make sure I can make it through the winter without that much of a struggle," said Hardesty.

It's not just the stores that benefit. The town's sales tax revenue, in the four months they host these festivals, is at times $10,000 dollars more than the winter months.

"That's our industry. We don't have agriculture, we don't have manufacturing, we don't have any of those industrial things here. Tourism is where we make our money and we understand that," said Medicine Park Mayor Dwight Cope.

The business owners kind of treat the festivals like they're squirrels collecting nuts for the winter. Cope says they are working on new ways to keep revenue coming in during those cold months. Their biggest year-round attraction will be their aquarium. Cope says the aquarium will open next spring.

There is one big event remaining on the schedule this summer in Medicine Park. The Flute Festival is set for the end of the month.


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