'Little Bavaria' Popular 4th Of July Destination 7-02-2010 - WNEM TV 5

'Little Bavaria' Popular 4th Of July Destination 7-02-2010

AAA Michigan predicts more than a million people will be driving on state roads this weekend, a big change from the past couple of years, when the recession forced many people to cut back.
Now tourist destinations across the state, and in Mid-Michigan, are hoping for a successful Independence Day.
Tammy Bolt mixed up all kinds of coffee concoctions Friday morning at the Harvest Coffee Cafe in Frankenmuth.
These days the owners said the joint is jumping, not because of a caffeine jolt, but an infusion of tourists. It seems the Pure Michigan campaign and the local tourism folks are driving tourists to the Bavarian-themed town.
"In particular, I know the city of Frankenmuth spends a lot of energy and effort in tourism, in the marketing side [and] on the tourism side of things,” said Bolt. “This is the perfect place to spend time, to come and relax."
While TV5 visited Friday, reporter and anchor Craig McMorris came across a couple from Detroit who decided to make a quick trip up to Mid-Michigan for the Fourth of July. McMorris asked them why they chose Frankenmuth.
"Just the local culture, I know it [was] founded [by] German settlers, so it's just interesting to come up and sample the local food and history and so on," said George Smith.
Frankenmuth not only attracts folks from Michigan. TV5 found some international visitors in the town.
"I think it's a great little place,” said Stephanie Frisch, visiting from Ontario, Canada. “It's so cute and quaint and there's so much to see. It's great."
"It's just a very scenic town,” said Marilyn Frisch, also from Canada. “We've been here [before]. We decided to come back because we enjoyed it so much."
It’s sunny days this tourism season for the Raining Cats and Dogs shop. "A lot of the sales have been up since last year with the downfall of the economy,” said shop owner Michelle Marcoux. “So it's improving, a little at a time, so with the Fourth of July we're hoping to make it a lot better."
Meanwhile, the Harvest Coffee Cafe has been going strong for more than three years, and it expects business to continue to brew up this summer.
Anyone looking for something to do in Mid-Michigan Friday night, there will be a free lawn chair movie festival at the Harvest Coffee Cafe.
People can watch "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" in the parking lot of the business beginning at dusk.
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