Good weather brings big crowd to Mountainfest

MORGANTOWN — According to its website, in the 14 years Mountainfest has been around, the event has brought 525,000 attendees, $970,000 in donations and 75 music acts to Mylan Park.

According to Jamie Summerlin, director of major events and destinations at The Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau, the concrete numbers for this year’s festival won’t be apparent until after the weekend is over.

“Thursday night at the Coal Bucket [Saloon] is one of the best Thursday nights we’ve ever had with Montgomery Gentry. And then [Friday] night there was a large crowd in the main stage area for Bret Michaels,” he said,

Hours before Saturday night’s appearance by the band Alabama, people were waiting to get near the stage.

To gather the numbers, organizers compline gate sales and online sales using stand accounting practices. Summerlin said ticket sales for Saturday compared to Friday are about 4 to 1 on day passes.

“Saturday’s probably going to be three to four times bigger than what Friday was,” he said.

The weather has been good for attendance and Summerlin said they’re looking to break records. With a comfortable 78 degree temperature, people gathered early Saturday to get ready to see live music and partake in other activities that will go on until early Sunday morning.

This year, Summerlin said the music acts are bigger and better, with the best line up he believes they’ve ever had. Vendor attendance is down a little, maybe due to bad weather in the past and vendor’s schedules as they travel from one rally to the next.

“We’re encouraged by the attendance and we’ll work to keep bringing more and more vendors in for the public to enjoy,” he said.

The Bike Parade took place early Saturday, and Summerlin said he expected a big influx of people to head over to Mylan Park afterward. The Davisson Brothers Band opened for Alabama Saturday night.

The set up at Mountainfest could be described as a biker’s paradise, with a sea of bikes all shapes and sizes filling the parking lot. Vendors’ sold jackets, T-shirts and accessories. Attendees could visit the Coal Bucket Saloon and see live music, and there was even a place to get a new tattoo.

Audrey and Mike Kromel came from Latrobe, Pa., to set up their tent for the weekend. The couple owns a business called Teal Treasures, LLC and this year marks their second time selling at Mountainfest.

Mike and Audrey said they location is great for them because it’s not too far from home. Mike also loves country music so they enjoy the atmosphere. They really enjoy Mylan Park, too. They said this year they’ve definitely seen more patrons, because the weather was so much better.

“It rained last year, it monsooned. It was bad, it was pretty bad on Saturday,” said Mike.

Audrey said largely what they sell is stainless steel jewelry, handbags and women’s motorcycle clothing.

“I would describe us as a boutique, like a traveling boutique,” said Audrey.

Audrey said they’ll definitely be back next year. She said they had a good morning for sales Saturday. Friday was a good day for them, too.

“Actually all three days have been, it’s been a good show for us,” she said.

Audrey has an internet store, and a traveling store as well. Last week they were in Erie, Pa., and travel to a lot of motorcycle rallies on the East Coast, some with up to 200,000 people attending.

Events will continue on Sunday with a full list of times and locations at wvmountainfest.com.

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