SWF attendance sets record

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More than 22,470 people attended the four-day Swiss Wine Festival held last week in the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park.

Festival President Kirk Works said that attendance was down on Friday from last year; but Thursday, Saturday and Sunday all saw a slight increase in attendance figures.

Total festival attendance in 2012 was more than 22,031.

“This represents a two-percent increase over the 2012 total attendance,” Kirk Works said. “An additional 439 people enjoyed this year’s festival as compared to last year. This is the second year in a row to set a new overall attendance record.”

Festival visitors were from many different states, including: Georgia, Tennessee, and Illinois – as well as Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Kirk Works said that since Thursday evening was free admission, the attendance was estimated to be a new record of 1,503. This estimate is due to an increase in amusement ride ticket sales and food booth sales.

Friday’s total attendance was 6,391 compared to 7,266 last year. This is a 12-percent decrease over 2012. It was estimated that over 4,000 people attended the Tracy Lawrence concert. Friday night’s concert was made possible with the financial support from Switzerland County Tourism Commission.

Saturday’s attendance was up 9.8-percent over 2012. The total number who enjoyed the festivities on Saturday was 11,575 – compared to 10,544 last year.

The crowds continued to pack the riverfront on Sunday, with 3.001 people taking in the activities and events on the last day of the festival. The attendance on Sunday was up six-percent over 2012.

Also, the festival announced the winner of the $1,000 gas card that was given away during the event. This year’s winner is Gina Porter from Atoka, Tennessee.

“We would like to thank all those who helped in any way to make this year’s festival another one for the record books,” Kirk Works said. “The challenge now is to maintain the overall festival appeal, and we hope to continue to have big name entertainment on Friday night with the continued support from Switzerland County Tourism.”

Follow up and planning meetings are already underway for the 2014 festival. Kirk Works said that next year the festival will have a new amusement company that will provide more and bigger rides.

The 43rd Swiss Wine Festival will be held on August 21st-24th, 2014.