Rainy Rossini Festival

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The pouring rain didn't keep some people from enjoying the 12th annual Rossini Festival in downtown Knoxville, covering 12 blocks of Gay Street and Market Square.

"I wore my flip flops, I bought this huge umbrella from the store, and I'm really happy right now!" said Danielle Touma.

But not everyone was as brave. In years past, 100,000 people crowded the streets for food and drinks, live entertainment and the upscale artisan's market. But this year:

"There's not as many people here because of the rain. It's usually so packed you can't hardly walk down the streets," said Jodi Romero, who had an umbrella and a rain jacket with her.

The rain is hard on people trying to make a living at the festival, like the owners of K&C Concessions, who said they're actually losing money.

"You have money in product, your setup fees, insurance - a lot of costs that people don't realize that you have to do a concessions business," said Teri Kidder, with K&C Concessions.

Tom Wilson was selling artwork.

"I'd love to have something to sell so that I can pay for my hotel room and gas!" he said.

Paul Moody wasn't planning to make big bucks from the festival, but he's hoping word spreads about his company.

"What we're doing is trying to get our name out there, let people know who we are and what we have, seeing as how we have a few things that are a little different than everybody else," said Moody, with Finny B's Catering.

Wet weather or not, people said the festival is still a blast and venders said rain is just part of the job, and they'll be back again next year.

This year's festival featured over 800 vocal, instrumental and dance performers on five outdoor stages, along with the Knoxville Opera's production of Cinderella.


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