The festival does not bring customers to companies
October 12 – KINGWOOD – Preston County business owners said sales were down significantly this year compared to previous weeks of the Buckwheat Festival.
Sarah Davis, of the Down Home Diner, located next to Fireman’s Field, said the restaurant was busy Saturday and Sunday, but not Thursday and Friday. She said the restaurant didn’t sell much during lunch and dinner.
“Saturday and Sunday helped a lot,” she said. “We mainly sold buckwheat pancakes. Burgers are usually a big product. This year we stocked up on burgers but we didn’t sell a lot. One day we sold two.”
“We sold a few Hungry Man breakfasts and French toast,” Davis said. “We had funnel cake fries that we had for the festival. That and the buckwheat cakes helped us.”
Jean Guillot, owner of the Preston County Inn, which is on the parade route, said business was good Thursday but fell on Friday and Saturday.
“I reduced my supply orders. In previous festivals we had a good crowd on Sunday. But not this year. We closed early,” he said. “You can’t count on it (the festival). It’s only four days a year. You have to plan the other 51 weeks.”
Guillot said he expected a smaller crowd, so he wasn’t disappointed.
“We did about half of what we normally do,” he said. “But half is better than nothing. It wasn’t that many people, but we had good weather and those who were here had a great time.”
Guillot said the hostel rooms were all booked, but few foreign guests or groups came to the festival.
“A lot of residents did not want to risk their health,” he said. “The firefighters did a tremendous job, given the issues they were facing, to organize a festival safely. They provided masks and hand sanitizer. I think they should be given credit for taking the precautions, so that we can have a festival. “
Incredible Creations, owned by Bob and Robine Riffle, on E. Price Street is also on the parade route.
Bob said the crowds were down from 2019 (there was no festival in 2020).
“We have done well with ceramics because a lot of people come for arts and crafts,” he said. “Our sales of mini donuts were down.”
He said mini donuts are a tradition at the Buckwheat Festival.
“It started when Jim Walker was a firefighter. He had the mini donuts on the ground. After his wife started making his teddy bear lollipops, he lacked help, and I started helping him. . Later he asked me if I wanted to buy the mini donut business and I did. I kept the tradition going. “