CityFest draws a record crowd of 60,000

Published 10:12 am Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The numbers are in and CityFest continued its growth trend this year, as more than 60,000 people descended upon Municipal Park for a free day of music, food and fun.

Alabaster Arts Council President Adam Moseley said the official police estimate was between 60,000-65,000, while the festival drew a record crowd of 50,000 last year.

Despite a 10-minute rain shower, Moseley said the bigger acts, such as Travis Tritt, helped bolster this year’s event.

“We were due,” Moseley said of the rain. “We had six years of no rain at all, but I don’t think it deterred anyone from coming. That’s reflected by the attendance numbers.”

Mayor David Frings said the event is a shot in the arm for the city, as a recent study concluded the event gives Alabaster a $500,000 impact boost.

“We are having bad economic times around the country,” Frings said. “This is a huge deal for the businesses in our city because many of these people will eat at our restaurants, stay in our hotels and buy gas in our city.”

Moseley said the study was based on the past two years, and the impact should be even greater this year.

“That money goes right back into our community,” Moseley said.

Frings said the free festival also provides relief to families who are reeling due to the economy.

“It means a whole lot to a lot of people,” Frings said. “That could have been some families’ vacation.”

Moseley said that is the entire goal of the arts council in producing the annual event.

“For us to offer an event of this type of magnitude, and for free, that’s what we want to do,” Moseley said.

With the festival also being an alcohol-free event, Frings said that limited the amount of problems.

Frings said there was only one arrest during the day, which resulted out of a domestic dispute.

“Out of 60,000 people, that’s not too bad,” Frings said.

Frings did say there was one problem that the city would need to look at next year – “lost parents.”

“We had 22 ‘lost parents,'” Frings said referring to lost kids. “And 22 is a bunch.”

All of the children were reunited with their parents within minutes.

“Our police do a great job and they were able to quickly reunite everyone,” Frings said.

Although Frings said the KidsFest area is roped off, and there is a massive police presence on the festival grounds, he said the city would look at other ways of preventing lost kids, such as working with area churches to volunteer and a numbering system.

It is the city’s goal, Frings said, to ensure CityFest continues to be the safest and best family-friendly event in the state, if not the Southeast.

“It’s always a great family event, which is what everyone says they want,” Frings said.