Apr 22, 2010 6:51 PM by Veronica White
Festival International brings thousands of people and more than $22 million dollars into Acadiana each year.
Some local businesses say it pays to be downtown amidst the action.
On Jefferson Street, art gallery and salon owner Mark Isaac says he expects this year to be bigger than ever.
"Last night (Wednesday) it was just packed. I'm sure this year, with the weather as beautiful as it is, we'll have more people than we've ever had," Isaac says.
Festival organizers say with the growing crowd each year comes more people willing to spend money in the area.
Business owners say it brings in new customers.
"It's hard to complain about an event that has 400,000 people passing in front of your door," says Isaac.
New business owners hope to benefit just as the veterans have benefited.
Justin and Margaret Girouard opened their restaurant, French Press, across from Parc Sans Souci in January. They look forward to the festivities.
"From what I've heard from other businesses and other restaurants is that we need to get ready because once it starts it never stops," says Justin.
"Hopefully they'll want to sit down and take a break from the sun and come in and eat," says Margaret.