Craterfest attracts thousands to WetumpkaPublished 8:29am Thursday, April 25, 2013
Tired, but very happy, best describes members of the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce’s Craterfest Committee when Saturday’s event came to a close. After months of planning and weeks of hard work, favorable weather added the final ingredient needed for the festival to be successful in the first year of its new incarnation.
Vanessa Lynch, chamber executive director, said an estimated 4,000-5,000 people attended Craterfest throughout the day.
“There were more young families earlier in the day and larger crowds coming in the evening for the headliners,” she said.
The event featured arts and crafts and other merchandise vendors, concessions, children’s games and activities, a variety of demonstrations, informational sessions on the Wetumpka Impact Crater, a gathering of local authors and non-stop musical entertainment.
“Feedback from the vendors was excellent,” said Lynch. “So far, every vendor I have spoken to had a very successful sales day and hopes to return next year. There were 126 vendors and spaces were completely sold out six weeks prior to the event day. We didn’t hear from a single vendor who didn’t have a huge day in sales. In fact, we heard from several that they made a killing.”
The final two performers of the day were singer-song writer Chris Stapleton and country music recording artist Keith Anderson.
“Both Chris Stapleton and Keith Anderson’s bands commented it was by far one of the best venues they had ever played,” Lynch said.
She noted that there were a few misadventures along the way, but nothing serious.
“Any improvements we may need to make would mainly be logistical issues,” said Lynch. “In particular we need to be better in coordinating volunteer schedules and those things you learn along the way.
“There were of course a few last-minute setbacks we had to face as there are with any major event, but we pulled together and made it happen.”
Overall, she said, Craterfest was a success.
“We couldn’t have been more pleased. We learned a lot along the way and were very happy with the outcome of the event.
“At the end of the day, the music was good, the weather was good and people were happy. That’s really all that matters. People had a chance to see our beautiful city and a lot of positive attention came to Wetumpka.”
The chamber plans to continue Craterfest on the third Saturday of April each year.