The Market Street Festival experienced another record-breaking year in 2010.
Total dollar amounts have yet to be tabulated, but Main Street Columbus Director Amber Murphree Brislin says some vendors experienced their highest grossing sales to date. Furthermore, attendance for Friday night”s concert was the highest in the festival”s history.
Overall attendance was estimated in the 35,000-40,000 range. The overall economic impact is estimated to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Friday and Saturday were probably the best year yet as far as arts and crafts and music,” said Susan Bell, chair of the Market Street committee.
It was a good year for food, as well. Andy Tentoni, with the United Methodist Men from First United Methodist Church in Columbus, said his group increased its sales by approximately 125 percent above average for the past four years.
The booth sold out of every item, a feat he attributes to the unique menu. The United Methodist Men were the only vendors selling “garbage can gumbo” and boneless pork chop sandwiches. They also sold 90 slabs of baby back ribs, including 36 slabs sold in less than 30 minutes starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“The way (the festival) was run was excellent. We got all the service and support we needed from the staff. They came by constantly to check on us,” said Tentoni. “The police protection and everything was as good as you can expect it to be.”
Every available vendor space was filled with 212 arts and crafts vendors and 33 food vendors attending.
No major problems were reported Friday or Saturday. Brislin reported one woman passed out due to the heat Saturday, but was fine. The Columbus Police Department reported one arrest — a juvenile.
“Throughout years of Market Street, the most there”s ever been is two arrests in one year. With a crowd of 35,000, it doesn”t get any better than that,” said Brislin.
However, she admits each year teaches new lessons. This year”s lessons dealt with the communication and logistics of closing off streets.
Planning for next year”s Market Street Festival began Sunday. Brislin said the committee is considering changing the music schedule and gating the Saturday concert.
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.
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