Businesses reap benefits of thousands of Roots to Boots visitors

By Dave Jewell

Monday, August 6, 2012 8:58:51 EDT PM

Lord Amherst Public House was packed Sunday during the Bicentennial celebrations. Local businesses were reporting strong sales during the Roots to Boots Festival. (Photo by Dave Jewell)

Lord Amherst Public House was packed Sunday during the Bicentennial celebrations. Local businesses were reporting strong sales during the Roots to Boots Festival. (Photo by Dave Jewell)

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AMHERSTBURG — As thousands of tourists flocked to Amherstburg this weekend for the Roots to Boots War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations, local businesses took it all in and were all smiles.

Downtown was closed off to most vehicles, allowing people to roam, tour, and take in the local flavor. This meant big business for local establishments.

The Royal Canadian Legion saw a full patio both Saturday and Sunday as the barbeques were on full force. Down the road, Waterfront Ice Cream Parlour saw a steady stream of people as the temperatures rose into the 30s both Saturday and Sunday, making for ideal ice cream conditions.

Not everyone wanted to stay outside, though. At Lord Amherst Public House, people were lined up on Saturday to beat the heat, and Sunday was no different. Owner Anthony Mancini said business was booming all weekend.

“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “We had Friday and Saturday nights that were crazy and today is busy, too. Saturday, I think, everyone was trying to get out of the heat, so we had a waiting list for most of the day.”

Not far away at The Mexican Grill, tables were hard to come by on Sunday and owner Joan Leavitt said that was the story of the weekend.

“Absolutely crazy busy and sometimes we can’t even keep up,” she said. “We’ve had so many customers come in, with good reviews, too.”

Leavitt said everyone coming in was really upbeat and eager to tell stories about what they saw.

“Everyone is having such a great time here,” she said. “They’ve been coming in and telling us about the events that have been going on. We had people come in last night after the festivities and it started raining right after, so it was just perfect. Everyone really enjoyed themselves.”

From the Legion to Fort Malden, Town Square to Sandwich Street, cars lined the curbs, people were upbeat, lining up for drinks, munchies, and whatever souvenirs put a smile on their face. It was clear they were having a blast, as was the Town of Amherstburg.

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