Fall Fest: Has the Weekend Become Too Crowded?

Sunday's turnout broke attendance records for the fest, but is that a good thing? Some Patch readers don't think so. What do you think?

When is record-breaking attendance too much? 

For some, that would be Sunday at . Early estimates put attendance between 80,000 and 100,000 for that day, a single-day record for the event, said Mark Giovanazzi, the 2011 Fall Fest chairman.

"Let's put it this way, if you were in town, you knew it was a humungous crowd," he said, adding that overall attendance for the weekend was estimated around 200,000 to 250,000.

Those numbers might be good for the crafts vendors and food sellers, but two Patch readers thought the crowds were too much.  left this comment on the site:

Too crowded Sunday very dangerous with too many people ... poorly thought out, food court too small, and once filled, no one can move in or out. Streets untraversable and sidewalks blocked at many locations. This is a great venue, but it needs to be laid out and planned a lot better if you are to accomodate that many people at one time.

, another reader and festival attendee, concurred:

Hate to do it, but I have to agree. We went Monday, and the food court area was awful. You couldn't maneuver in or out.

Giovanazzi said he isn't surprised by the congestion at the food court, given how it has become one of festival's most popular attractions, with people calling up to ask what types of food will be on sale. 

"We'll be considering more efficient ways to handle (the food court), so people don't feel like they're in a hundred-person line," he said.

What do you think? Was Frankfort Fall Festival too crowded this year? Or are the large crowds a positive sign of the event's popularity? Has Fall Festival become a victim of its own success?  

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Dana September 06, 2011 at 11:16 AM
I agree with the food court. It was a mess last year and I must say it was a NIGHTMARE on Monday. I hope there is a larger more organized food area next year. Other than that, the fest was fantastic.
colleentriana September 06, 2011 at 03:08 PM
I skipped the food court and had a lovely lunch at Francesca's. It was not too busy at the carnival on Sunday around noon but the festival area was very crowded around 2pm. I am not sure how it could be organized better since what you need is space. We had a nice time!
Eleanor Wiegand September 06, 2011 at 06:20 PM
I think perhaps having tents only on one side of the street so there is more room to move about would help. You would have to expand the number of streets you are using, of course to do that, but the area between tents on both sides of the little streets is really bad. I had at least 3 strollers run over my feet. Why not use the parking area which used to be the carnival area for the food vendors? I won't come again --it was just too crowded to enjoy.
518 September 06, 2011 at 06:47 PM
Yes I agree, tents on one side of the street only and put the food court away from the tents more. Its too crowded and hard to move around with strollers and wheelchairs etc. I was there 2 years ago and there were too many vendors selling the same thing or almost the same thing. The traffic and crowds are crazy.
Roger Lis September 06, 2011 at 08:15 PM
hundreds of people feek the same way and will never attend again and are telling their neighbors and friends not to attend, you can celebrate record setting attendance at the cost of safety and sanity. I attend at least 10 fests a year and travel to disney and branson and other places that have large crowds, they know how to handle the crowds, make allot of money and make the guest want to return and bring more guest, please expand all the venues, the carnival, take it off the stupid gravel, the craft vendors one side of the street please and the food, well let's celebrate the great food by giving it a large space with many tables......think Disney!
Karen V. Maurer September 06, 2011 at 08:38 PM
What a nice problem to have! This one can be solved with some creative thinking -- and a little cooperation from the weather (think, would have attendance have been better spread between the three days if Saturday hadn't been rained out?) And why not encourage people to patronize local businesses of all kinds. Feel good, planners and volunteers -- this amazing event is a credit to the South Suburbs! : ) Karen Maurer
Roger Lis September 06, 2011 at 10:03 PM
this is an amazing event but if not handled correctly it can go the same way as the South side Irish parade....proper planning using more space and logistics will make this event the best event of the midwest!
scott September 06, 2011 at 10:46 PM
It got crowded at 2 because the parade had just ended, just like it does every year
scott September 07, 2011 at 01:06 AM
I was more concerned about traffic control actually. Lack of police or volunteers directing traffic in spots. Also what streets were open or not. And it is my understanding that a child was hit by a car Sunday afternoon at an uncontrolled corner just off the main area. Child is OK..
Nature Lover September 07, 2011 at 01:19 AM
My sister and I had an absolutely fabulous time at the Frankfort Fall Fest this year. We attended all four days (including Friday night at the entertainment tent). Kudos to the organizers for moving the carnival to one location and adding more seating on the "Green". There was a nice variety of food choices and we enjoyed mingling with others and sharing shopping tips while waiting in line. Thank you organizers and volunteers. Great Job!
Nature Lover September 07, 2011 at 01:24 AM
I attend every year and I always find something new and unique. The large crowd makes it more exciting.
Nature Lover September 07, 2011 at 01:25 AM
Thanks for staying home next year...that means more room for me (lol).
Nature Lover September 07, 2011 at 02:48 AM
I thought there was ample traffic control. There was also fencing lined along the main street to prevent pedestrians from going into the roadway. It is my understanding that the child that was hit by the car on Sunday evening walked around the fenced area. Glad to hear the child is okay.


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