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Oak Harbor Music Festival attendance hits 15,000 - Slideshow
A festival that started just three years ago filled downtown Oak Harbor with thousands of dancing feet during Labor Day weekend.
With a total of 15,000 folks checking out the scene, the Music Festival saw its attendance double from last year, according to the festival President Margaret Livermore.
The festival had “more people coming and more people excited about what was happening,” she said.
This year, the festival had two large stages on either end of Pioneer Way, with craft booths and food stands spread between them, as well as a beer garden near both stages.
“It went really well,” Livermore said. “It was terrific; everybody loved it.”
Aside from a little wind and rain, Livermore said there weren’t any problems.
“It always brings people together,” said Pam Fick, attending the festival for the first time.
Fick has never been able to stop and enjoy the festivities in the past but planned to spend all three days at the festival.
“I’m just looking forward to the togetherness of the community.”
But it wasn’t just Island County residents who attended the festival. There were people from all over visiting for the festival, including a few from Canada.
Carin Louis, from Victoria, British Columbia, and her husband happened across the festival while boating north back to Canada. When they arrived in Oak Harbor, the marina informed them of the festival and they decided to go see what it was about.
Dav and Dorothy Anderson, from White Rock, British Columbia, were also pleasantly surprised to find that the music festival was going on during their weekend getaway to Oak Harbor.
“We just wanted to get away for a few days to Oak Harbor,” Dorothy Anderson said. “We were happy to find out.”
Samantha Beard, an Oak Harbor resident attending the festival for the first time, said she and her friend were looking forward to “the music and the new bands and stuff we’ve never heard before,” as well as “the sense of community and people just gathering together.”
Camano Island resident Paul Tilbert is a veteran attendee of the festival.
Tilbert said that last year’s festival was a good time, but this year’s was “as good, if not better.”
“It’s nice to spend three or four days hanging out and listening to good music,” he said.
Livermore said that in a couple weeks, the board will have a “debrief meeting” to talk about the festival and “see what we need to tweak, what we need to do to accommodate even more people.”
Livermore said she plans to have a great festival again in 2015.
“It was fun to see all the wide variety of bands we had,” she said.
“The big headliners that played the last part of each day were great bands,” Livermore said.
“We had a mix of final bands of the night, which really helped give people what they wanted to hear and be able to enjoy and dance in the streets and just have a really good time.”