Chilifest Turnout

By: Amanda O'Neal
By: Amanda O'Neal

This year's Chilifest may have broken records for attendance. The event wrapped up Saturday and organizers were more than pleased with the turnout.

This year marked the 15Th annual for Chilifest and organizers believe it could be the biggest ever. Early ticket sales were high and Chilifest chairperson Dan Crownover couldn't be happier.

" The turnout is better than we expected. Last year was kind of a slim year and we really needed a big year like this to bounce back. We think we did better than expected," said Crownover.

Last year's event drew in about 32,000 people and organizers believe this year's crowd could be close to 50,000.

The huge crowds will turn into a large dollar amount which Chilifest will donate to local charities. Many in attendance say they know the money goes to a good cause and it's also a good escape for them.

" It's a great way to spend time with friends. Just hang out and don't worry about work or school or anything like that. Just have a good time to listen to music and drink some beer," said attendee John Ramirez.

Many were surprised by the turnout.

" I didn't expect it to be this many people, but luckily you know every body's having a good time, getting along and there's no problems," said Kyle Shoulders who drove from Austin to attend Chilifest.

Despite the massive crowds police say there were few major incidents, but several M-I-P's were handed out.

State troopers also lined Highway 60 in attempts to catch speeders and drunk drivers. Overall organizers say people seemed pleased with the event and were enjoying the weather and music.

" With all the preparation we were able to have a very smooth event," said Crownover.

Chilifest officials should have some attendance numbers and a total dollar amount for money raised sometime next week.


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