Attendance at the Mount Magazine International Butterfly Festival, which suffered last year because of extreme heat, bounced back when the event was held last Friday and Saturday in Paris and at Mount Magazine State Park.
Attendance this year was placed at about 4,500 according to Paris Area Chmaber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Hixon and Park Superintendant Becky Bariola. Bariola said 2,032 attended events at the park and Hixson said about 2,500 people showed up at the Logan County Fairgrounds in Paris.
Last year, attendance at the park was placed at 1,417 and in Paris at about 1,700. Last year, temperatures were hovering above 100 degrees. This year, temperatures topped out in the upper 90s in Paris and in the 80s at the state park.
This was the 17th year for the event to be held.
The Logan County Fairgrounds marked a change of location for the event in Paris. Last year, it was held at the St. Joseph Catholic Church Parish Hall because of the heat. In previous years, it had been held on Courthouse Square. Hixson said the change of location worked out well.
"It’ll be up to the chamber board and the fair board whether we have it out there again next year," Hixson said. "I hope it stays out there because there’s plenty of parking and plenty of room if we want to expand it.
"The vendors loved it out there and I got a lot of compliments from vendors and people who came out," Hixson said. "We had no major problems at all."
Hixson also said in the future the event may start later on Friday and go into Friday night. Having music at the event on Friday night is another idea Hixson said she wants to look at.
"We may look at some of these ideas for the future to make it bigger and better," Hixson said.
The number of vendors present in Paris this year also showed a drastic increase. Hixson said there were 23 vendors at last year’s event and 75 this year.
Things went well at the state park, as well, Bariola said.
"The weather really worked out well for us this year," Bariola said. "Everybody had a good time and there were no complaints this year."
The state park hosted 48 programs during the two-day run of the event this year.
Also, the Mount Magazine International Butterfly Festival Pageant took place last Friday at Paris Middle School. Winners were crowned in several age categories. The winners were Mt. Magazine Butterfly Miss Lauren Woosley, 14, of Ozark; Teen Miss Jaelyn Cooper, 14, of Van Buren; Pre-Teen Miss Lindy Holman, 11, of Lamar; Princess Loralai Kremers, nine of Lavaca; Little Miss Payton Scantling, five, of Charleston; Tiny Miss Kakayla Harrell, two, of Russellville; Teeny Miss Alexa Young, 11 months, of Paris and the Community Booster was Payton Scantling.