CityFest draws an estimated 50,000 people

CityFest 2009 has come and gone, and city officials have estimated this year’s event was the largest in the festival’s history.

“It was fantastic,” said Adam Moseley, Alabaster City Councilman and Arts Council president. “It was more people than we ever expected.”

Police estimated 50,000 people attended this year’s event, up 15,000 from last year’s attendance of 35,000 people.

“We could tell by 9:30 (a.m.) that it was going to be more than what we estimated,” Moseley said.

The city had to call in extra shuttle buses and have them run earlier because of the number of people who took advantage of gates opening earlier at 9 a.m. this year.

The family-friendly event featured inflatables and a kids’ workshop, vendors, a classic car show, demonstrations, games and live music.

Alternative rock group Tonic co-headlined the event with country artist Terri Clark.

“I think that’s what we branded ourselves as — a family event,” Moseley said. “We try to make it a comfortable event for the family.”

Moseley thanked all the vendors and sponsors for making this year’s festival the most successful in the event’s history.

And he can’t wait to get started on CityFest 2010.

“My mind is already working on it,” Moseley said. “It used to take three to four months to plan it. Now, it’s become a 12-month job.”

Moseley said the Arts Council will meet this week to discuss the pros and cons of this year’s festival, and will begin planning for next year.

The city also surveyed more than 700 people at CityFest to see what changes need to be made and to determine the economic impact made on the city by the festival.