Bristol Rhythm & Roots helps local businesses

BRISTOL, Va./Tenn. - The 13th annual Rhythm and Roots Reunion is in full swing in downtown Bristol, and it's drawing a large crowd of people from all over.

The streets in downtown Bristol have been packed all weekend for Rhythm and Roots, "We have visitors from over 40 states and several foreign countries," says Kimberly Leonard with the Bristol Chamber of Commerce.

We spoke with one lady from Morristown, Tennessee and she tells us she's been to Rhythm and Roots several years and keeps coming back because of all Bristol has to offer, "We get to go to all the antique stores and we definitely love the stores to be open and love the music and the food and everything," says Barbara Hess.

The stores along State Streets are also seeing an increase in business, "The past four years Rhythm and Roots has been amazing there's been so much foot traffic downtown," adds the manger of Shoozies Kristen Hess.

Hess tells us the rain actually brought more people into shop, "So many people have came in wanting rain boots and we've had a lot of business from it," adds Hess.

Businesses in Bristol aren't the only ones seeing an increase in business. Leonard tells us there has been an increase in the use of hotels, "Most of the Bristol hotels have been booked in advance and sold out for months in advance this year. We're starting to see the others fill up and reach out to the region," adds Leonard.

Meanwhile, Simmons tells us she wants to come back to Bristol for more than Rhythm and Roots and encourage others to do the same, "If people have never been here they need to come," says Simmons.

We learned the festival has grown over the past 13 years, and this year it's expanded to 21 stages.

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