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Fun Fest breaks attendance record

Fun Fest in New Richmond broke a new attendance record over the weekend.

New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Russ Korpela reported that excellent weather over the run of Fun Fest, July 8-11, helped create a perfect atmosphere for attendees.

He said music on each of the festival evenings, Thursday through Saturday, attracted big crowds. He said other events held in conjunction with Fun Fest also reported good attendance.

One big, positive development was the growth in the vintage car show, which was held Saturday afternoon. About 75 cars showed up for the show, which is considerably more than last year. Korpela said he expects the car show to continue to grow in coming years.

He said a lot of people showed up for the grand parade again this year. He said parade organizers continue to face the challenge of attracting marching bands to the local event, mostly because school district are cutting back on marching band budgets and bands no longer travel as much as they had before. He said the parade also doesn't offer enough financial incentive to attract many bands.

Korpela said he doubted the Fun Fest parade would ever get back to the days when 15 to 20 marching bands were in the line-up. Organizers would, however, like to see seven to nine bands in the parade in the future.

One concern that organizers had during the weekend was the size of the current tent, Korpela said. The chamber may look into renting a larger tent next year to better handle the crowds.

For a complete story, see this week's New Richmond News.