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Fredericton businesses eager as events draw tourists

For the past two years, the summer season and its events have been clouded by COVID-19 and its many protective measures.

It placed strain on many businesses, events typically held in the summer season, and those who like to travel.

Now, as the sun comes out, there is a renewed sense of hope with the past two weekends bringing major events to the capital city.

The city has been host to the Fredericton Home Show, the Tattoo Expo, the East Coast Music Awards and the Fredericton Marathon, many returning in-person after a two-year hiatus.

Inside Artful Persuasion there is a sense of hope.

“As with everybody, we’re slower with COVID,” said Allison Brideau. “So now, things are happening. People are starting to get out. People are coming downtown and we do expect that there is going to be more people with the ECMAs this weekend plus a few other fun events.”

She said there has been increased foot traffic into the store, which is an exciting change of pace.

The shop is a crafters collective, selling all-local products, offering tourists a unique experience.

“When I came this morning, I was listening to someone signing down the road,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to hear the happy sounds for a change.”

While some people are getting groovy to the music, others will be lacing up their sneakers.

The Fredericton Marathon is also making a grand return. The race was held in 2021, but in a limited capacity due to COVID-19.

It’s drumming up some cautious optimism inside the Running Room on King Street.

Manager John Acheson said while the business isn’t directly involved in the marathon, it does get quite a bit of business from the event.

He said people go there for gear or for new running shoes or even just advice.

“Normally, it is a pretty busy event,” he said in an interview Friday. “It’s exciting in terms of having some sort of normalcy.

“But, you know, we’re not out of the woods in terms of what COVID has provided us. So it’s just nice to see the activity again.”

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