Wine draws a record crowd

May 21, 2008|By LARRY CARSON

A record crowd Saturday accounted for three-fourths of the attendance at the annual Wine in the Woods festival last weekend, according to Gary J. Arthur, director of Howard County's Department of Recreation and Parks.

"We think we had 15,000 people on Saturday. That is a record," Arthur said, noting that it was also the first time parking near Merriweather Post Pavilion was exhausted for the wine event held in Symphony Woods around the pavilion.

Arthur said 5,000 people bought tickets for $20 each before the event, and the rest paid $25 each to enter. He said rainy weather Sunday held attendance down to about 5,000, which means total attendance likely will not exceed the approximately 21,000 who attended over the past several years. Exact figures will not be available until later this week, he said.

The festival normally puts up to $350,000 in profits into the county department's self-sustaining fund, money used to give recreation scholarships to needy children and to pay for historic preservation costs and maintenance around the county.

The county shares profits and costs with the Maryland Wine Association, Arthur said.

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