TARPON SPRINGS, FLA -- Businesses in Tarpon Springs are prepping for a busy week ahead. People from around the world are expected to be in the area for the 116th annual Epiphany celebration on January 6.

Last year, spectators were limited due to COVID-19. But this year crowds will be able to gather to watch the historic cross dive.

What You Need To Know

  • Epiphany celebration in Tarpon will be open to the public this year

  • Businesses expect to see more customers as people visit Tarpon Springs for historic cross dive

  • EPIPHANY COVERAGE: Spectrum Bay News 9 will have live team coverage on January 6

Since thousands of spectators could not gather around Spring Bayou last year for Epiphany, many businesses did not see more customers that week. But this year they're expecting to be busy. Demetrios Salivaras, owner of Dimitri's on the Water, says he is anticipating it will be busy leading up to Epiphany and on the day of the celebration.

"We will be really really busy. It's phenomenal how we get so many people from all over the place," said Salivaras. He went on to say, “It’s not just Greek people that are coming for Epiphany. It’s all denominations, and that’s the beauty of it.”

He says the holiday season in 2021 was busier than in 2020. He's hopeful the trend continues into 2022.

“It’s great now that I don’t need to worry about how am I going to pay this bill, how am I going to do this? Payroll is up. Costs are through the roof. Everything is up," said Salivaras.

Dimitri's on the Water is located on Dodecanese Boulevard near the sponge docks. There are other restaurants and shops also hoping for an increase in business from visitors attending Epiphany. GETAGURU Handmade Soap Company has been seeing more customers and manager Danielle Blevins hopes it continues.

"We hope the tourists all come back and it becomes like it was before," said Blevins.

She says having so many people in the area for Epiphany is a plus for all the small businesses.

“It always helps to kind of highlight Tarpon. That’s always good to bring people to Tarpon," said Blevins.

Maureen Collins is the manager of a few shops along the docks, including the newly opened Fatty's Place. She says the shops she manages aren't usually busy for the Epiphany celebration but says it's great having so many people in the area.

"We will get a few tourists who come for the celebration but normally Epiphany isn't a real busy day for us as far as shop owners but we welcome everybody it doesn’t matter. You want to eat, you want to drink, you want to shop, you want to go on Rio's Odyssey Cruises boat which is fantastic. There's always something to do here," said Collins.

Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th. Services will be held at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the morning. Aferwards the Blessing of Tarpon Springs and the cross dive will take place at Spring Bayou.