Hitting the right notes

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David Minton/DRC
Tornado fries drip with oil Saturday at the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival. Officials said Sunday that revenue numbers indicated the festival experienced growth this year.

Weather cooperates as Arts & Jazz Fest closes annual run

The rumors of bad weather were exaggerated, allowing thousands to have a great time on the final day of the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival.

Among the throngs of people pouring into Quakertown Park on Sunday was Nikki Thornton, a Carrollton resident taking in her first jazz fest.

“I was doing research online just looking at events we could do, and I saw this and saw it was a free event and decided to come out,” she said.

Thornton recalled meeting some folks who had been attending the festival for 25 years.

“They told us which acts to see and how to navigate everything,” she said. “It’s nice to get up and go around and see the vendors between acts.”

Thornton said the black and white dress she was wearing for the last day of the event was one that she had purchased Saturday from a festival vendor.

Jennifer Worth of South Austin Gallery beamed as she completed a transaction. She and her husband offer art featuring actual photos on items such as coasters and cutting boards.

“We were supposed to have some bad weather, but it turned out great,” she said.

Worth expected sales to surpass all her other shows this year, and one reason, she said, was having more Denton photos to offer.

Away from the stages and the vendors, brothers Zak and Shane Price sat watching the people and the day go by.

“I’ve been coming here since we were kids,” Zak said.

“It’s more of just something different to do. I don’t really pay attention to much of the music. I just come out here to hang out,” Shane added.

Carol Short, executive director of the nonprofit Denton Festival Foundation, which produces the yearly event, was relaxed as she sat with other festival staff behind the main stage Sunday afternoon. She said everything that she and other event organizers wanted to happen regarding the festival had happened.

One of those things was adding a second screen to the main stage.

“It gives a better sight line because the crowds are so large over here,” she said. “There are always little kinks you have to iron out, [but] the weather cooperated; that’s the only thing we can’t control,” she said. “We’re so pleased so many people have come and enjoyed it.”

Short said said sales revenue indicates some growth this year over last year.

“I’m sure we’ll be over 200,000 [attendees] again, maybe more,” she said.

She touted the talent lineup for this year’s festival, complimenting Al Jarreau as one of the best to play the festival in a long time. “And Asleep at the Wheel Saturday night, and of course we bring it all home with Brave Combo,” she said.

As the sun set on the 2014 festival, Short said she and others have 2015 in sight.

“We’re already planning,” she said.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.


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