Mayfest Looking to Prosper

Thousands headed to Mayfest year after scaled-down 2010

Two years after canceling and a year after a scaled-down event, Mayfest is getting back into the swing of things.

Organizers and vendors both agree that this year's event is back to the way it was before 2009, when the swine flu scare forced the last-minute cancellation of the family-friendly event.

Mayfest 2011, which began Thursday afternoon in Fort Worth's Trinity Park, is a little bigger than last year's, which was scaled back for financial reasons.

"We definitely had to scale back [in 2010] to make sure our expenses weren't too much, so that we could replace those reserve funds [lost after 2009]," said Darcy Harrell, a Mayfest volunteer.

More than 200,000 people are expected at this year's version, which has several new things to check out, including a lumber jack exhibit and an extreme trampoline show.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children, with all of the money going back into the community.

"Typically, the event usually brings in a $1 million, so if we can keep our expenses in check, we can give as much of that back as we can," Harrell said.

Those who attend will see the fruits of Mayfest Inc.'s charitable givings themselves, as part of a play area in Trinity Park.

Mayfest is also known for its weather complications, such as the 1995 hailstorm that severely damaged the event and injured several people. However, the weather this year is set to be good for a full four days, much to the delight of vendors.

"It's a fun atmosphere," said artist Max Ramirez. "The only time it's bad is when you've got the rain and the cold, but it's suppose to be a good this weekend."

Good weather means good business for the art and food vendors, who said they are excited to be apart of the 2011 version.

"Each year, they tweak it, and this year, they tweaked it real good.," said Paul Pokluda, co-owner of Texas Turkey Legs.

There are seven stages -- three for live music and four for dance and performing artists. There are also numerous specialty shows throughout the weekend.

Mayfest runs 3:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. It is located on 33 acres of Trinity Park just east of University Drive.

Unlike in years past, there is no Mayfest parking at Texas Christian University because of this weekend's graduation. Parking is available at a cost at Farrington Field and the Harley Lot at Montgomery Street and Harley Avenue.


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