For small business owners like Adam Work, 34, of Marietta, the Marietta Riverfront Roar is three days of welcome chaos.
"If it weren't for things like Riverfront Roar and the Sternwheel Festival, we wouldn't be in the black," said Work, owner of Work's Place, an outdoor restaurant, located at 106 Greene St. "Those two weekends are very profitable for us."
Work said he typically places a double order with his food distributors and relies on the kindness of kin to help him out with all the foot traffic.
"Everyone has to pass my place to get to the river," he said. "I have to throw down the family and friend card because it doesn't make sense for me to hire extra help just for one weekend."
While the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival each September draws thousands to the area, Work, who has experienced five out of 11 years of the Riverfront Roar, said he thinks the Roar is quickly gaining in popularity.
"Every year it seems we get more and more people," he said.
Riverfront Roar schedule
Noon to 5 p.m. - Road closures (Front Street from Butler to Greene, Greene Street from Third to Front, Second Street from Butler to Greene, and Ohio Street from the levee to Third), concessionaires set up.
5 p.m. - Powerboats on display on Front, Greene and Second streets.
6 to 9 p.m. - Merchants and Artist Walk, downtown Marietta and Harmar Village.
5 p.m to midnight - Beer garden with live entertainment at the Pepsi Pavilion, located in the city parking lot between the Lafayette Hotel and the Ohio River.
5 to 5:30 p.m. - Live entertainment begins with High Schools That Rock.
5:30 to 6 p.m. - Jessica's Dance Company.
6 to 6:30 p.m. - Carpe Diem (Acoustic rock).
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. - Matt Enik Band (Country).
7:30 to 8 p.m. - Amanda Sams (Solo Performer).
8 to 9:30 p.m. - The Faculty (Variety).
9:30 to10 p.m. - Gels Dance Centre.
10 -noon "Roar's Got Talent" (Talent Competition).
7 a.m. - Registration begins for Run for The Roar, armory lawn Front Street.
8 to 9:15 a.m. - Run for the Roar roadrace.
9:15 to 9:30 a.m. - Run for The Roar Tot Trot, armory lawn Front Street.
9:30 to 9:45 a.m. - Run for the Roar awards presentation.
10 a.m. - Powerboats on the Ohio River for testing and fine-tuning.
10 a.m. - Beer garden opens.
Noon - Opening ceremonies, Ohio River Levee.
1 p.m. - Heat races begin.
12:30 to 12:45 p.m. - MOV'n Dragons Demonstration.
5 p.m. - Heat races conclude.
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. - Live entertainment begins with Triple Threat (Classic & Southern Rock).
6 to 7 p.m. - Columbus Zoo Safari at the armory location (time subject to change).
6:30 to 7 p.m. - Marietta Dance Academy.
7 to 8 p.m. - Jinx'd (Rock).
8 to 8:30 p.m. - Brittany Fox (Solo performer).
8:30 to 9:30 p.m. - Insured Sound (Variety).
9:30 to 9:50 p.m. - Fireworks at the levee.
9:50 p.m. to midnight - Live entertainment continues on stage with Audio Outlaws (Country).
9 to 11 a.m. - Registration and set up for Pioneer Corvette Show at the armory.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Pioneer Corvette Club Car Show - Entry is $10. There will be door prizes. T-shirts for the first 50 entrants. Awards for the top 25 cars. All makes and models welcome.
10 a.m. - Powerboats on the Ohio River, beer garden open noon to 5 p.m.
Noon - Opening ceremonies on the levee.
12:30 to 12:45 p.m. - MOV'n Dragons demonstration.
1 to 4 p.m. - Final races.
4:30 p.m. - Vadakin Cup and trophies awarded.
Organizers are hoping the event will bring in roughly 50,000 people, including racers, according to Gary Williams, chair of the Riverfront Roar committee.
"It depends on the weather. Last weekend we wouldn't have had many people with it being so hot," he said. "It takes a lot to put this on. We get thousands of dollars in in-kind donations but every year it is a challenge to keep it going."
Comfort Inn in Marietta is the official host hotel for the event and assistant general manager Elizabeth Ours said the relationship between the Riverfront Roar committee, the APR Superleague and the hotel has been very good.
"We are filled up this weekend with drivers and their families and they will be using our pool for their diving classes," Ours said. "It is definitely good for business."
The event and busy weekend also coincides with the grand opening of Blacksmith Barbecue in the hotel, which has undergone renovation.
"We are open to the whole public," said Mahesh Nichani, the hotel's general manager. "We invite everyone to come and see us."
Other area merchants are hoping to capitalize on the influx of visitors when the second Merchants and Artist Walk of the season will be held Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., though Jimi Sell, a sales associate at Teri Ann's, says the event is typically busy no matter what else is going on in town.
"When the River Roar decided that they wanted to be on our weekend, I think it really helped them out," she said. "It might be Friday the 13th, but we always have good luck with Merchants and Artist."
Sell said that 40 merchants from all over downtown and Harmar Village will be open until 9 p.m. and many artists, including some from out of town, will be offering their wares.
"We have people coming from greater distances and we're trying to get a more eclectic group. But we are always looking for artists and anyone who is interested can contact me at the store," she said.
Pottery, custom musical instruments, chainsaw carvings, metal work, stained glass and photography are just some of the offerings available.
Riverfront Roar's use of the armory lawn and parking lot is also good for letting the crowds fan out into other areas of town.
"It's great to have people come down farther from the river and always great to have events like this that bring people into town," said ReStore Marietta executive director Mallory Greenham.
A little Christmas, too
ReStore will also be holding a Christmas in July event on Friday during the Merchants and Artist Walk at their offices at 132 Front St. It will feature Santa, snacks and an information session on ReStore and the Raising Cane project. Twenty-five of 75 decorative lighted candy canes used on lightpoles downtown are still needed for the upcoming holiday season, according to Greenham.