Mount Dora businesses prepare for big weekend ahead of annual art festival

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – According to Visit Mount Dora, at least 100,000 people are expected to visit during the 49th Annual Mount Dora Arts Festival this weekend.

Shops and restaurants are busy preparing for the big weekend.

“I did my decorating for Valentine’s Day, of course, and for the festival, order merchandise, make sure all Lulu candles and merchandise are in stock, we have jewelry stocked,” said Lulu’s Gifts owner, Daisy Rolan.

Rolan experienced her first Mount Dora Arts Festival as a business owner last year. She said she is ready for the thousands of people expected to visit this weekend.

“Just getting ready for our customers making sure they have a nice shopping experience with the vendors and with the small shops, businesses in Mount Dora too,” Rolan said.

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Restaurants are also prepping for the big weekend, Munchie’s Live BBQ is stocked up with their customers’ favorites and they’re expecting to go through a lot of it.

“Probably like, I don’t know, like 20 pounds or more,” said On-site Operations Manager, Shaina Mann. “Probably more than that. And probably like 20 slabs. A lot of food.”

Mann said this is one of their busiest weekends.

“They have like thousands of people that come out and I can say that Mount Dora really knows how to throw festivals,” Mann said.

Events and Promotions Director for Visit Mount Dora, Brian Young, said he estimates 100,000 people will visit this weekend but adds one of the biggest impacts of the festivals will be the dollars spent.

“A lot of these merchants will share with you the fact that some of these are make-or-break weekends for them after coming off of a terrible summer or cold, harsh winter,” Young said. “We’ve had some slow snow days this time of year, so it will be an immediate impact on all of the businesses downtown, for sure.”

The 49th annual festival kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 3.

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