PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The Covered Bridge Festival is set to start in just three weeks time.

Officials close to the event say that they’re expecting about 1 million people to attend the event. With that many people in the county of only 17,000 people, that could mean big profits for vendors and local businesses.

Parke County Commissioner Jim Meece said that they’re hoping to see more guests than last year.

“We expect this one to be even bigger than it was last year,” Meece said.

This would be first year where COVID-19 restrictions and fears are gone amongst the community which would mean good things as far as turnout goes.

“We’ve always heard that it’s over a million people in the 10 day period which is pretty remarkable for a county of 17,000 people,” Meece said.

The potential of millions of people to the county means big business for stores on the square in Rockville. Aaron’s on the Square is one of those that can benefit. Server Mark Clark said the festival is like a financial boom for business.

“We make a lot more money here during the covered bridge,” Clark said.

The range of this festival spans far beyond the 10 days that it’ll take place. The ability to attract and retain new customers to the business is something that Clark said is vital.

“More people can hear about us and that gives more people the idea that we’re here,” Clark said. “They can come anytime throughout the year.”

Beyond just vendors and business, Meece mentioned the nonprofits that raise funds during the festival.

“This is a great opportunity to raise funds and then turn around to give right back to the community and help that who need help,” Meece said.

The Covered Bridge festival will begin on October 14.