CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Organizers of FestivALL of Charleston believe more and more people are traveling to the state’s Capitol City specifically to attend one or more events of the 10-day arts-based festival.
FestivALL Executive Director Larry Groce said approximately 20,000 people attended FestivALL events last year. He said the average person takes in three to four events.
“Of those 20-thousand people we know that 20 percent of them stayed overnight–that means they don’t live here,” he said.
FestivALL opened Friday night in downtown Charleston, the first of two weekends for the event. The first weekend features a chili cook-off, parade, alternative music concert, wiener dog races, a food tasting event, film festival, ice cream social and several other activities.
Groce said organizers learned a lot about those attending the events through last year’s post-FestivALL surveys.
“We know 12 different states were represented here and two different countries and of course a whole lot of counties from West Virginia. So people do come in for our FestivALL events and that’s our idea—get them to stay overnight,” Groce said.
Activities continue through next week with the annual mayor’s conference scheduled for Thursday night featuring Aaron Neville. The second weekend features Blue, Brews and BBQ, Wine & All That Jazz and the Children’s Street Fair.