It was "Beetlemania" at the Downtown Depot Plaza in Tomball as an estimated 2,000 people turned out for the first Bugs, Brew & Barbecue event Oct. 1.
More than 40 classic and custom Volkswagen Beetles were on display at the festival, which was held in conjunction with the North Houston Volkswagen Club.
Along with the VW "bugs," guests enjoyed live music on the Depot Plaza stage from Ezra Charles and other Texas-based artists, as well as barbecue and Texas-crafted beers and wines. The event was organized by City of Tomball marketing director Mike Baxter, who said he considered it a success for the city and local businesses.
"Business after business told us that it went really well," said Baxter said. "Traffic on Main Street was just incredible - it was crazy. We had several folks tell us that they estimated well over a couple thousand people come into town for the event and to shop."
Baxter said several nearby restaurants and shops reported increased sales throughout the day, including Cisco's Salsa Company, Granny's Korner, and Bootsie's Heritage Café. Mary Harvey, owner of Granny's Korner, said it was her best Saturday since the German Festival in March, according to Baxter.
Planning is already underway for next year's festival, and Baxter said he hopes that the success of Bugs, Brew & Barbecue will be a catalyst for other such events.
"We see this event as a first step toward developing several city-owned festivals and events that will increase awareness of Tomball and drive tourism dollars to the city," he said.