Winooski Shops Expect Big Boost from Waking Windows Music Festival

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Waking Windows kicked off Friday night in Winooski. City officials say the three-day music festival boosts the local economy.

Volunteers weren’t letting the rain get in their way Friday. They spent the day setting up for the Waking Windows Music Festival.

“The festival has kind of grown with the city,” Matt Rogers, one of the festival’s producers, said.

Rogers, along with Ali Fogel, are some of the organizers. They say every year, it’s something different.

“You know when we started doing this 7 years ago. There wasn’t took much here and now over the years all of these businesses have popped up,” Rogers said.

There are 13 venues for music all around the city. New to the event this year, bands will be playing in Rotary Park. Restaurants and shops are also embracing the festival.

“It’s a small community, pretty tight knit community. Businesses work together more than I’ve seen,” Thomas Green, the owner of Scout & Co., said.

Bands will be performing inside Green’s coffee shop too.

“We’re usually two and a half times busier this weekend than we normally are, which for us being a small company, it’s a pretty big, significant jump,” he said.

City manager Jessie Baker says she’s expecting about 10,000 people to be in the Onion City over the next three days. That more than doubles the population.

“What we hear from businesses is that it’s about an equivalent of an extra two weeks of business for them in a year. So, [the festival] has a huge economic impact on our business community,” Baker said.

Festival goers will get a taste of the music.

 “It’s a huge driver of vibrancy and success and opportunity for people to meet and mingle and hang out,” Baker said.

While also seeing what the business community has to offer.

Festival organizers say the outdoor events scheduled will go on as planned, rain or shine, unless there’s a thunderstorm in the forecast.

A number of roads around the Winooski rotary will be closed during the festival and crossing guards will be stationed around the area to help festival goers as well as drivers stay safe.

The City of Winooski is also offering free parking starting at 5 p.m. Friday in the Winooski parking garage, located on Cascade Way. Free parking will continue until Monday morning. On street parking will not be free during the festival.

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