Photo Christine Leggett
While the Magnolia Love Bug Fest at Unity Park last weekend did not reach the hoped for 5,000 person attendance mark, event organizers were still satisfied with the way things turned out.
Based on parking counts and ticket sales, it was estimated around 2,500 people came to the festival over the course of the three-day event.
“We accomplished our main goals,” said Deborah Rose Miller, the city's economic development coordinator. “We pulled the community together, and we got our name out there.”
While the rain Friday complicated the outdoor movie screening planned for that night, Miller said organizers and volunteers both shifted into overdrive to keep everything going as smoothly as possible the rest of the weekend. They were able to screen the movie Saturday after the fireworks show.
“Our volunteers were absolutely amazing,” she said. “They were out there at 7 a.m. Saturday pumping water from the site and creating a pathways for people to walk on over the mud.”
Another major goal of the festival was to raise money for local nonprofit groups, which in turn helped out with various aspects of the festival, like monitoring parking lots and keeping the park clean. The event raised just under $6,700, which the Magnolia Community Foundation distributed to the eight nonprofit groups involved, including local boy and girl scout troops as well as organizations like Keep Montgomery County Beautiful.
Miller said she is already using the experience from running the event to plan for next year. Love Bug Fest 2013—which will again come on the second weekend in June—will likely involve more of an effort to appeal to a younger audience. Miller said there could potentially be a teen dance night, and she also hopes to secure a carnival.
Heart of Texas DockDogs, which ran a canine aquatic competition over the weekend, will also be back, Miller said.
“We're already in the midst of getting them back for next year,” she said. “We had more than 200 entries, and we want them to be one of the anchors of the festival.”
Miller said the trail ride and worship went well Sunday, and she hopes to get more churches involved next year. Overall, she said the event provided a good base to build on.
“We wish more people would've come check us out, but those who did brave the heat and mud seemed to have a great time,” she said. “Every year we'll be looking for ways to make it bigger and better.”