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TWO HARBORS - Minnesota and Wisconsin officials who monitor the changing of the leaves report that fall colors could reach their peak within the next week or so.
Thousands of vehicles belonging to tourists use Highway 61 to pass through Two Harbors. On Sunday vendors at the "Under the Spreading Walnut Tree Art Festival" said they noticed the effects of the influx.
"Yeah, it really brings in a lot of people right now," Vince Quast, photographer and owner of Creations Image, said. "The seasons are changing and a lot of beautiful artwork from the lake seems to bring out more blues."
"The leaves, I mean, they're gorgeous," artist Tom Flynn with Cape River Photography said. "The colors – beautiful blue skies and the reds and the golds and the yellows and the greens. I think it's just a natural draw for people."
And this year some weather watchers predict an even more dramatic showing.
According to the U.S. National Arboretum, leaves change because of the changing seasons – Fall brings less sunlight and cooler temperatures.
But it is also because of the weather. A warm, dry summer increases the chance for vibrant color, according to a report from the U.S. National Arboretum.
That is the case in Duluth where the region is below average for the summer since the flood.
The Minnesota DNR shows the state is already nearing its peaking point. Travel Wisconsin shows the same thing in the Dairyland.
Vendors and business owners say that means more people are headed outside and spending their money.
"A lot of them will stop and come back in and say 'Oh, I saw something along the way and I had to stop to see what it was," Flynn said.
"It's a typical Minnesota thing because, you know, we have the colors and it won't be long before the weather changes," Quast said.
"We'll get those cloudy skies and a lot of snow that's going to be coming in so we try to enjoy it as much as what we can and get that last little bit of sun," Quast said.