“It felt great to be back this year” organizers say Chilifest saw record breaking crowds
SNOOK, Texas (KBTX) -After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic the popular music festival Chilifest made its return to Burleson County.
Crowds of students, music fans, and lovers of a good time were welcomed back to the Chilifest grounds in Snook this weekend, a place they haven’t since April of 2019.
The two-day music festival draws in over 35,000+ people each year and features performances from some of the biggest names in country music and rock.
The festival also serves as a fundraiser for local charities through the Brazos Valley. Since its inception in 2020 Chilifest has donated over $3,500,000 to local charities.
Event organizers and vendors closed out Chilifest weekend Sunday by cleaning up the grounds in Snook. Although the last few days have been nonstop work and days with little to no sleep Chilifest president Matthew King says the long days were worth it.
“It felt great to be back this year, you know getting to see everyone out here,” said King.
If the trash on the ground was an indicator of a good time, Snook Texas was the place to be this weekend. Event organizers saw record-breaking crowds this year, although that number of attendees was not available organizers say crowds beat pre-pandemic levels.
“It beat 2019 in attendance, we had a lot more people here,” said King. " It definitely didn’t beat 2016, 2016 was probably our biggest year but it’s definitely in the top three.”
Crystal Waugh is no stranger to Chilifest, she’s attended several in the past but this weekend was her first time as a vendor. Waugh is the owner of Snap Vodka, A College Station and Aggie-owned distillery. She believes this year’s event lifted everyone’s spirits.
“Just getting back together, being able to have a good time, making great memories experiencing something new,” said Waugh. " There were a lot of new folks out here and then folks that got to come back and relive their youth a little bit and see how Chilifest has evolved over the years. I think overall it was a huge success.”
From a law enforcement perspective officials with the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office say they’re pleased with this weekend’s event. According to the Sheriff’s Office, only 12 individuals were processed on charges and detained.
The number of arrests this year was fewer than in 2019, according to officials.
The following is a list of the arrests made and charges for each:
4 – Public Intoxication
3 – Driving While Intoxicated
1 – Possession of a Controlled Substance less than 1 gram
1 – Driving Under the Influence
1 – Minor in Possession
1 – Possession of a Fake ID 1 – Local Warrants
“Overall we are pleased with these numbers and appreciate those in attendance who exercised good judgment,” said Chief Deputy John Pollock. “Traffic was congested during peak times but was cleared out in a timely manner. No significant events were reported.”
King says he is looking forward to Chilifest returning in 2023 and being bigger and better.
“It was a great year,” said King. “You know we broke records, had a bunch of people attend. It went smoothly, we didn’t have many problems so we’re looking good.”
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