KERNVILLE, CA-The annual Whiskey Flat Days rolled into President's Day Weekend, bringing with it a much needed boost to Kernville's economy. Business owners estimate the drought and shortened rafting season has reduced tourism by 30 percent.
Local vendors told 17 News they could not have been happier as the weather was beautiful and people were out spending money.
The fact that the streets were packed with people is reassuring to local business owners like Cheryl Borthick owner of Cheryl's Diner. Borthick was so busy she could barely stop cooking to chat.
"I know a couple of other restaurant owners that have set records this week,” Borthick said.
One vendor selling root beer thought it was busier than last year.
" I think it is because our weather is so much better,” said Jane Smith, a volunteer with the Kern River Brewing Company. “Some years we have had to shovel snow and deal with ice and everything else. This year is really probably the warmest one we have had in a long time."
The weather was a reason some tourists from Bakersfield made the trip.
"You couldn't even see the mountains from home, said Ernesto Carbajal. “Right here (in Kernville) it is totally clear you can see the mountains, everything."
But for some visitors they are happy to see more volunteers this year performing historical re-enactments.
"It's the best ever this year,” said Carol Knapp. “They maybe have five times the participants and we are in awe of it. We have been before but this year you can't miss it."
Though this weekend is good for business Borthick hopes it acts more like a travel brochure.
"We are here all year long,” Borthick said. “We are here to serve you and do the best we can do make your fun time up here a more fun event."