Keokuk Civil War reenactment draws in big money for the city - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Keokuk Civil War reenactment draws in big money for the city


Officials in Keokuk hope the forecasted rain this weekend doesn't stop thousands from spending money at the Civil War Reenactment, which is the city's second biggest tourism weekend of the year.

Tourism officials say this weekend they expect up to 15,000 visitors for the reenactment events.

And with that many people headed to Keokuk, officials say it means big bucks for the local economy.

The sounds of cannons blasting off and violin music playing are signs that the Civil War Reenactment weekend has kicked off in Keokuk.

And for tourism officials, that is music to their ears.

"It is a considerable part of our tourism income. It probably brings in about $600,000," said Kirk Bradenberger, the executive director of the Keokuk Area Tourism Bureau.   

The reenactment is the second busiest tourism event in town each year, and because of that local hotels are seeing a boost in a normally slow time of year.

Super Eight Assistant Manager Kathy Ragar says this weekend brings many people through the doors.

"It is for us because we've had the reenactment band here going on 12 years now, so it does help us a lot in our hotel," said Ragar.

Although Ragar says her hotel is almost filled to capacity, other hotel managers in town say they still have plenty of empty rooms because many people make a last minute decision on whether or not to come based on the weather.

And for vendors like Sherri Brunk who rely on the festival for big sales on kettle corn and shaved ice, she hopes the forecasted rain holds off.

"It's really good actually. We do fairly well. It depends on the weather too with our shaved ice. We get pretty with it if the weather permits," said Brunk.   

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