Rain dampens Dickens and downtown business

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ROANOKE, Va (WDBJ7) Tonight, mother nature decided to rain on everyone's parade, including Crystal Bolton

"You know it's a little hard to sell ice cream and snowballs in the cold," she said. Bolton is the owner and opperator of Bayou Snowball in Downtown Roanoke.

She says the weather this season has dampened turnout in downtown. "A little bit of a disappointment for most of the people who are wanting to come down to Dickens."

Down the block, Micheal Yerts of Blue Ridge Apple Cider Donuts agrees. "It's not as busy as it was last week," he said.

He says turnout is down about a quarter compared to a week ago.

But don't tell that to folks like Amber Brown She, her mother, and family friends came out tonight, just like they do every year.

"Rain or shine, it didn't matter."

She and her family were cheering on the floats, yelling at Santa, and sipping hot chocolate from businesses like Bayou Snowball.

For Crystal Bolton, these are the folks who keep her going, rain or shine. "They're what keeps us going throughout the winter," she said.