The Forty-Third Annual Gaslight Festival came to a close at Gaslight Square in Jeffersontown on Sunday, September 16.
The festival, which began on Sept. 9, ended after eight days of entertainment highlighted by several key events including a parade, 5K run/walk, car show, arts and crafts fair and a soap box derby race, an event new to the festival this year.
Over two-hundred vendors were represented at the festival this year, serving to near-record crowds for many of the eight days.
“Attendance has been huge.” said Jeffersontown Chamber President and Festival Director John Cosby, who estimated that over two-hundred-thousand visitors made their way to the festival this year. “It’s always big, but I think the main reason has been that we’ve had such good weather all week.”
The large attendance numbers also brought problems according to Cosby. “We had almost a record crowd last night in the square. It was just too crowded.”
Increased traffic was also a major issue at the festival. “A combination of the big crowds and us blocking off Taylorsville Road has really created problems we haven’t seen before,” Cosby said. “People are having to learn new travel patterns to get to the festival. When you do something the same way for thirty of forty years and then change it, it confuses people.”
The changes also affected many participants, including several students that gathered at the festival. “There are more and more people every year,” said Manual student Jessica Coy (10, HSU). “For some reason, it seems like people our age just stand in the middle and talk.”
Aside from the crowd issues, Cosby believes the festival was a success. “We always get a huge sense of accomplishment when it’s all done and has gone well, so that’s probably our favorite part.”