Favored Fest

October 19, 2005

Despite a mixed bag of weather over the weekend, the 23rd annual Hood River Valley Harvest Fest drew crowds to the Expo Center Friday through Sunday. Total visitors to the three-day festival numbered approximately 24,000, according to Genevieve Scholl-Erdman of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.

“We were only a hair up from last year – about 300 people,” Scholl-Erdman said. One big difference this year, however, was the number of weekend passes sold.

“We sold at least a thousand percent more weekend passes,” she said. “People were definitely shopping more than one day, and that makes me feel that they were staying the night.”

In addition, Scholl-Erdman said, traffic on Friday and Sunday were up from previous years, while Saturday afternoon and evening were slower than usual.

The Chamber of Commerce sponsored a drawing this year that required visitors to fill out a survey card about Harvest Fest.

Scholl-Erdman said she got about 150 of them back, and almost everyone had ranked the event an 8, 9 or 10 out of 10.

“We got some really good feedback from them,” she said. Vendor surveys, done every year, showed once again that nearly all vendors were pleased with the festival’s organization, crowd numbers and sales.

Scholl-Erdman said one request many vendors and festival-goers continue to have is for an on-site ATM machine.

“We haven’t found a way to get an ATM machine down there yet without breaking the bank,” she said. “But we are trying to solve that problem for next year.”

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