Downtown Development Associations believes Grand Forks' Downtown Street Fair might have top last year's crowd
Organizers hoped to top 50,000 during the event, which was held on downtown streets, in Town Square and pocket parks.
GRAND FORKS — Organizers were predicting a crowd that could number as many as 50,000 at the annual Grand Forks Downtown Street Fair, and judging from Saturday's attendance, it's possible that prediction came true.
Blue Weber, CEO of the Downtown Development Association, said early indications show that the crowd will easily top last year, when the DDA made the attendance determination based on cellphone tracking data.
"Earlier in the week, when the weather wasn't looking so good, we were a little nervous about what Friday would be. But the clouds parted and it's been wonderful," Weber said a couple of hours before the two-day fair closed late Saturday afternoon. "It's exactly what we wanted it to be. It's amazing that the community showed up like they did."
He said it's still early, but "my guess is we'll blow that out of the water," he said of comparing this year's attendance to last year's.
The event was held on South Third Street, South Fourth Street and Kittson Avenue, and also in Pillsbury Park, Loon Park and Town Square. During its peak early Saturday afternoon, a considerable crowd had gathered in all of those locations, eating from food stands, perusing booths and listening to music in Town Square.
This year's Street Fair was the seventh for Grand Forks' downtown. The event was organized by the Downtown Development Association and featured more than 90 artisans, crafters and vendors. They came from Greater Grand Forks and across the region.
The number of vendors is almost double the number that set up last year.
"The streets were packed and we heard a lot of good things," Weber said. "We're excited and pumped that it was this successful."
Along with the fair on the Grand Forks side of the Red River, the Happy Harry's Rockin' Up North Fest drew large crowds in East Grand Forks. Weber said the plan for the DDA was to close the fair by 6 p.m. to give attendees a chance to cross the river to be able to hear Saturday evening's scheduled performers, including Michael Ray, Love & Theft, and Paint the Town.