The weekend’s perfect festival weather topped off a successful Blue Plum Festival that had more vendors, more artists and more attendees than ever before, according to one event official.
“From my personal perspective, I think it was the largest crowd we’ve ever had,” said Jose Castillo, media lounge’s “big plum.”
“The concentration of people was much more than in years past,” he said. “I think it will be the biggest crowd ever.”
Castillo said in previous years the crowds clustered around the stages during the evening hours and the vendor areas thinned out.
“This year, going into the evening there were people throughout the entire grounds. It was perfect weather. We couldn’t have asked for better temperatures,” Castillo said.
This year’s Blue Plum included two separate food courts and more events in general, Castillo said.
But one thing organizers still don’t know is just how many people attended the 13th annual festival. There was a plan in place prior to the start on Friday, but it was evaporated just before the festival kicked off.
“At the last minute the FAA said no fly over so we weren’t able to get aerial photography,” Castillo said.
Johnson City Police Lt. Larry Williams said from a law enforcement perspective, the event was about the same as past years.
“It was a typical Blue Plum,” Williams said. Arrests “run pretty close to the same each year. The majority of our problems occur after 11 p.m. and stem from problems at the bars.”
Williams said there were 12 arrests and five misdemeanor citations issued.
The arrest breakdown was 11 for public intoxication and one DUI. The citations included two underage consumption citations, one juvenile citation for disorderly conduct and one for cruelty to animals.
“This year, the arrests were during the festival except the DUI,” Williams said.
Police also responded to a theft from a vendor, vandalism at one vendor tent and one theft from a motor vehicle. Also, approximately 35 vehicles were towed due to various city ordinance violations, Williams said.
The festival kicked off Friday afternoon with musical acts scheduled that evening on all four stages and at side venues as well. On Saturday, the day got started with the Blue Plum 5K walk/run.
The overall winner for the race was J. Penny, 25, of Johnson City with a time of 16:05.8. More results, including by age group, are available at http://bit.ly/L3xANH.
Castillo said Sunday’s bike race also had a great turnout.
“We probably had the most attendance at the bike race on Sunday as well. We had a really good turnout (and) most of the vendors on Main Street stayed for Sunday,” he said.
In years past, vendors usually packed up and left before the event officially ended, but “this year almost all of them stayed during the bike race,” Castillo said.