I might be a little prejudiced but I thought the 21st Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival was good on all accounts. Now, my prejudice aside ... I talked
to so many folks that were in the audience and/or just walking through the Festival venue, including the comments from the 55 people on the Frontier
Bus, and I had very positive feedback - everyone loved it.
We were a little apprehensive going into the Festival wondering what it would be like because we dropped to one venue this year. Would there be too
much congestion in the hall ways? Would the tradeshow be too crowded? Would there be enough room for the art in the Art show? Would people miss
the church? Would there be complaints about the extra time between sets? Well now, after the fact, we can answer all of these questions. Here's
what we saw and heard:
Congestion ... it was busy, yes, but I really didn't see any significant increase in the number of folks gathering in the hall way. One reason
might be because with the last year's short breaks between sets people only had time to grab a quick drink or bite to eat where as this year they
had time to do that and walk through the art and trade show.
Comments on the trade show were that people loved it. They could wander through without missing anything and had time to really check out who and
what was being exhibited - and there was some great product offered. One booth said they were down on business this year but another said they were
up 30% ... guess everyone has their good years.
The art show ... my opinion, and I'm anything but an artist, was that it looked better with the art displayed closer together - less spread out
looking and I could compare the entries easier. Artists might disagree but all in all we had no complaints and I though it looked great.
Did anyone miss being at the church? Not from the feedback that I received. The new to us "Ballroom" got rave reviews ... some saying the best
sound they've ever experienced at the Festival ... people loved it. One person even said they listened to Frank Gleeson and heard every word.
The best part about not using the church ... no one, including the audience, us, and the volunteers had to leave the building! In my eyes this
was awesome! The only thing we missed was Linda's Girl Guide Concession.
The bottom line ... we have some pretty hefty bills yet to go through but the bank account looks great. It'll take a while to get actual numbers
but from what I see to date, we can carry on saying that the Kamloops Cowboy Festival is in the black again after 21 consecutive years!
Thanks again to volunteers, sponsors and above all, you, the audience!