According to an article in today’s Sentinel, “more than 400” people attended the flower show at the  festival.  If we are to assume the attendance was not much higher than this (because I am sure most went to the flower show), that was extremely poor turnout.  Is it worth spending $10,000 on next year’s festival?  The article does not state an estimate of how many actually attended the festival, how many went on the garden tours, how many showed up at the lectures…I think if the festival were to combine with another event, say the Taste of Douglasville, it MIGHT be more successful.  Taste of Douglasville is always popular, yet is always scheduled in May when there is a good chance it might rain…and this year’s was rained out, per several reports on Twitter.  Or plan a music festival in the plaza at the same time.  There are ways to make it more popular.  Bring in something that will draw crowds.  But when you plan a flower show and don’t offer food vendors, entertainment (other than choral groups), or something that will draw in a crowd, you’re not going to get a lot of people to show up. 

Take, for example, the Bluegrass Springfest in Villa Rica held in April of every year.  This year was the 19th annual festival.  For the past several years, they’ve been bringing in nationally-known acts.  This year it was the International Bluegrass Music Association-winning groups Mountain Heart AND the Steep Canyon Rangers.  Admission is free to the bluegrass festival, and there are food vendors, arts and crafts, and games for the kids–they even had a couple of Atlanta Braves players there, I think.  Whenever I go, I always have a hard time finding a parking place, and it’s because the festival is popular.  And it’s a two day festival.

This August Villa Rica will hold their first annual (I think) West Georgia Hot Air Balloon Festival.  They expect the attendance to be in the THOUSANDS and are booking bands right now (Mountain Heart, are you listening??).  I for one will definitely go–I have been to one hot air balloon festival before, in Augusta, and it was amazing to see all of the balloons up in the air at sunrise and then to see them all lit up at night.  The festival in Villa Rica will be open until 10pm on both days, so they will most likely have the balloons lit up.  Why didn’t Douglas County think of a festival like this??

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