In spite of temperatures that topped 90 degrees, Marsha Dowdy, director of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce, said she is pleased with the results of the 31st annual Carp Festival, July 15-17.
She said vendors at the Farmers Market and Art in the Park and several retail businesses reported they had steady traffic throughout the event.
“I think some years, we’ve seen more of a surge (in the crowd).”
But she said vendors, particularly those at Art in the Park on Saturday, were busy the whole day.
“One retail businessman said they doubled their Carp Fest business from last year,” Dowdy said.
Carp Fest events faced a couple of challenges, the first being the heat.
The Archbold wastewater treatment plant recorded a high temperature of 97 degrees on Thursday, 94 on Friday, and 93 on Saturday.
“It was hot. There are no two ways about that. For some vendors it helped. They were serving cold things and it aided their business. For a few vendors who were selling hot things, it hindered their sales,” she said.
“Some booths in Art in the Park were not getting a breeze. People who stopped couldn’t just stand there. I don’t know how to fix that.”
Another factor that impacted Carp Fest crowds was other activities going on throughout the village.
“There was a lot going on. There were several weddings, and you can’t fight with things like that.”
While crowd size was hard to gauge, Dowdy said she believed crowds were down.
“I wish we had a true way of having a count,” but without a central entry and exit, there is no accurate way to count the crowds.
“I think the foot traffic was down, but it’s hard to say.”
On the other hand, there were 35 additional runners for the 2010 Run for the Lights 5K race and walk.
“We just barely had enough t-shirts, and we always order extra,” she said.
Jerry Rohrs, Archbold Lions Club, estimated the annual fish fry was down.
The Friday night fish fry was down on the number of pounds of fish served, and the number of people who visited.
He estimated the crowd was down by about 75 people.
The club’s fund-raising auction went well.
“It did as well as usual. People stayed around, and it was a lively crowd,” he said.
Dowdy said there were some positive things about the event.
“The senior bingo added that generation, and the Kids Zone brought in the young parents.
“There was a nice variety of food,” she said.
While the number of Art in the Park vendors was down, Dowdy said most were more true art-related, with less crafts.
“There were not a lot of $5 and $10 items,” she said.
Despite the higher price points, Dowdy said she still saw people carrying things away from almost every booth.–David Pugh