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Last Thursday’s Alive After Five street festival drew an estimated 21,000 people to Patchogue Village, more than doubling prior attendance records.
The annual summer festivals are in their 14th year, with the top attendance numbers of past events reaching about 10,000 people, according to David Kennedy of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, who delivered the news to Village Board members Monday evening.
“These are all numbers that our security tells us; they have their methods they use,” Kennedy said. “It was very heartwarming that that many people came to our town, and during the event there wasn’t any [negative incidents] to speak of. I think a lot of that has to do with the tone that is set, and the way the event is presented.”
He then gave a shout-out to event chairman James Skidmore.
“He’s the one who sets the tone,” Kennedy said.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around seeing so many people there,” Skidmore said.
Only time will tell if that 21,000 figure should be expected at the remaining two Alive After Five events this summer and beyond, Kennedy said.
“About 20,000 is about as many as you want to have on your Main Street,” he said. “Because for about an hour there it was pretty tight coming through.”
He said the few complaints stemmed from after the event wound down, when people were walking back to their cars and perhaps “continuing the party.”
“But the chamber is aware and trying to improve upon what we’re doing,” he told the board.