STOCKTON - Organizers of the Stockton Asparagus Festival were counting on huge crowds in 2013 after a very successful festival in 2012. It didn't happen, as attendance dropped off by about 25,000 people.
event organizers say what hurt the numbers was that the festival took place so soon after the Boston Marathon bombings.
"We went from the 105,000 the year before to 75-ish last year. That's a substantial drop. It was 11 days after the Boston bombings and a lot of folks were hesitant to be around large crowds, and we can be crowded out here on a Saturday and a Sunday," festival board member Wes Rhea said.
Event proceeds benefit Stockton charities.
"If you figure 25,000 people, if they all came out and spent 10 bucks, that's $250,000 that we didn't actualize last year. That would have been our profit," Rhea said.
This year, the concern is weather, with rain forecast for Friday, the opening day. The festival runs from 10 a m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.