Sweet Pea Festival means big bucks for Bozeman


BOZEMAN, Mont. - The city of Bozeman is preparing for the 2013 Sweet Pea Festival. With thousands heading into Bozeman for the weekend, we dug into how festival organizers are preparing. We also looked at just how much of an economic impact it will have on the area. Andria Huntsinger is the executive director of the festival. She describes just how big of an impact this festival has on the area. "The festival has been happening for 36 years. It is to the point where people are planning their family reunions, their weddings and family gatherings around the festival dates," said Huntsinger. Huntsinger also says they are expecting around 16,000 people to attend this year. With that many people attending, some from across the country, that translates into big bucks for Bozeman. "It is not only helping out local businesses, but the other, larger, more national companies," said Huntsinger. We also sat down with Daryl Schliem of the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce. He says Sweet Pea showcases all Bozeman has to offer. "Right now it is the heaviest tourist season we have. It shows what a great value we have here for people to hopefully come back and bring their families on vacation, other than for another week of Sweet Pea," said Schliem. Huntsinger says at the festival, it is about supporting the small vendors and artists. When we asked where she thinks most people will spend their money she said it will likely be at the arts and crafts booths. However for Huntsinger the festival means more than the dollars they bring in. It is about giving back. "Any money that we raise above and beyond what it costs to put the festival on, that money goes back to the arts in the form of grants for art and art education," said Huntsinger.