Talk over folk festival attendance winds up as event packs up

5:36 PM, Aug 26, 2013   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Attendance for this year's American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront is still weeks away from being released but already many are wondering if foot traffic was down for the event this year.

Several shops near the waterfront open their parking lots to folk festival guests. Many sell spaces to raise money for charity.

Dawn Godin owns a hair salon off of Union Street. She uses her parking lot to raise money for Bangor's ALS walk. She says this year she only netted half of what she usually raises due to lighter crowds. Businesses in Penobscot Plaza also sell parking spaces to raise money for the Curran Homestead in Orrington. Organizers there say this year many spots in the lot got filled but they still felt guest traffic for the festival was lighter.

"With the heat we found a lot of people that came in early in the day tended to leave about midday or late afternoon... ..where as new people were coming in during the there is a certain amount of turnover,"  said Irv Marsen, who is the president of the 'Bangor Letter Shop' and treasurer of the Curran Homestead.

Business owners we spoke to on Monday did admit that the actual dimensions of the folk festival have changed. This year stages for the event were more spread out, which could explain the lighter traffic.

Each year attendance for the folk festival is calculated by the event's board of directors. They are still running those numbers, but they were able to provide numbers for the bucket brigade donations.

This year volunteers collected about $110,000 at the festival. That amount is down from $130,000 collected in 2012.


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