Thank you God for good weather on Merchants and Music Saturday. It seems like the past few years has seen rain, cold temperatures, windy conditions, anything short of a natural disaster. This year however was another story; 75 degrees and beautiful couldn't have been better for the festival.
As you can see by the picture above the attendance was great. I can't help but think that the redesigned Midway had a hand in the improved performance. This fact was underscored by an encounter my wife and I had with a couple of young men walking back home from our time at the festival with our three children. As we were passing on the sidewalk they asked if we knew where the 'Fort Thomas Bar District' was. After holding back laughter I pointed them in the direction of the Midway and the Pub but suggested they visit the festival as well since the Rusty Griswalds were playing at the time and I mentioned Edgar Winter's visit later that evening.
They seemed genuinely excited and I don't believe they were the only out-of-towners that were at the event. Debbie Buckley, who works for the city and is the biggest energy behind the festival, aslo mentioned the out of town guests. "All the out-of-town visitors were so complimentary of the city's friendliness and beauty!"
Debbie went on to point out that sponsorships are up and festival expenses were down but that wasn't the ultimate measure of success. The engagement not only of the community with the turnout but also the merchant's embrace of the festival is one of the greatest attributes. Buckley emphasized this point by mentioning that "one of the best parts was seeing the banners at the Midway businesses--and realizing they are more than involved AT the festival." The only no show was Candy Cottage which was a bit disappointing considering they are new to town and it would have been a great way to meet the community.
Since we are talking festivals there are quite a few upcoming festivals that are family friendly and provide a great diversion on a fall weekend including the upcoming Y Health Fair. Use the comments section to promote other upcoming fall festivals in the area.