Town of Utica hosts 8th annual Monarch Festival to help with flood relief
A southern Indiana community wrecked by torrential rain and flooding is being showered with support nearly six months after the flood.
UTICA, Ind. (WDRB) -- A southern Indiana community wrecked by torrential rain and flooding is being showered with support nearly six months after the flood.
“Sometimes we live near the river, sometimes we live in the river,” Utica business owner Glenn Murphy said.
That's a lesson Murphy learned a long time ago. His screen printing business, Sampan, has been under water many times. Each flood costs him tens of thousands of dollars in lost business, employee wages and cleanup. He was shut down for more than a week in February.
“It was probably about $30,000 to $35,000,” Murphy said. “All of our employees kept their wages. We continued the wages so they didn't lose any time.”
Surrounding homes and businesses are in the same boat.
“That's real lost time wages,” Empire LLC owner Travis Kittrell said. “For that time, I have four or five employees. They're not working. We're here spending money. We're not making money.”
Kittrell says he lost anywhere between $25,000 to $40,000 dollars, but it would cost him even more to relocate. Now, just shy of six months later, the town of Utica is making a comeback by hosting the 8th annual Monarch Festival.
It's an art show being held on Saturday with a $10 entry fee and it's free for kids 12 years old and under.
“It’s typically to benefit the arts alliance of Southern Indiana, but we actually had another cause dear to our hearts, which was Utica flood relief,” Arts alliance of Southern Indiana President-elect Brian Bells said.
Part of the proceeds will go to flood relief and will help start a rainy day fund for the next possible flood.
There will be a live band, The Louisville Crashers, and a beer garden at 4th and Main Street. The festival is from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.
“We're going to have more than 50 vendors, nine food trucks, the Louisville Zoo is going to be here and we have an interactive butterfly dome,” Bell said.
To show everyone Utica is back open for business.
“We've been here since 1979, we're not going anywhere,” Kittrell said.
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