August 29, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria Apple Festival bids adieu till next year

Shawn Hunt of Elyria Rotary Club serves fried ice cream at the Elyria Apple Festival on Sunday. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Shawna Hunt of Elyria Rotary Club serves fried ice cream at the Elyria Apple Festival on Sunday. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Cooler temperatures and periods of rain dampened attendance a bit at this year’s Elyria Apple Festival but not enough to keep festival organizers from terming the event a success.

“Our overall attendance was down a little due to the weather being a bit cold and having some rain showers really hit us,” said Linda Brown, festival chairwoman and president.

While attendance at the 32nd Apple Festival ranged between 70,000 and 80,000, this year’s turnout was estimated at about 60,000.

“The weather hurt us a little bit, but there were always lines wherever the food was,” Brown said.

No events were canceled as a result of periodically heavy rainfall Friday evening or Saturday, when steady rain fell during the morning hours but tapered off by early afternoon.

Because the festival always has been a free event, there is no exact means of determining attendance.

Instead, festival organizers estimate overall attendance during the three-day event by multiplying numbers of people at specific stands or other sites by the number of total vendors, games and other exhibitors, Brown said.

“We try to get as close as we can,” Brown said.

This year’s First Place Bank car show, which traditionally sees a portion of Broad Street blocked off for displays of customized and restored cars on Sunday morning, drew a near-record number of vehicles.

“In the past we’ve had to turn some away, but this year we were close to the record of 225,” Brown said. “We were right there. We got close. The cars began rolling in one after another around 8 a.m.”

Those displaying cars this year “seemed to be really happy with it,” Brown said.

One big plus to the weekend’s cooler temperatures was a lack of bees, Brown said.

Past festivals have seen a problem with large numbers of bees that are typically attracted by the festival’s warm weather coupled with the multitude of stands selling sweet-flavored foods and drinks.

“We were fortunate in that area this year,” Brown said.

“Our overall success was very good.”

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.

  • Phil Blank

    When I click the photos, they don’t load and its not my connection speed.