It’s the 35th year of Centerfest in Bedford, but Saturday marked the first ever Centerfest 2.0, which was held a few weeks after Hurricane Matthew put a damper on the original event.
“I’m glad actually because I like Centerfest,” said Kaleigh Stanforth, who attended the event.
Centerfest is one of Bedford’s biggest events each year. But due to the rain and wind from Hurricane Matthew during the main event in October, fewer people came out to the event, and many vendors were unable to attend, according to organizers.
“I cannot get my stuff wet, so I was not here that day,” said Carolyn Hubbard, a vendor selling handmade bags.
Hubbard has sold products at Centerfest before but was unable to set up her stand during the event in October. She said she is grateful town officials decided to hold a Centerfest 2.0 to give her and other vendors a second chance at the event.
“I’m from Bedford, so that’s why I thought, ‘Well, these are my Bedford people, so I’ll come back and give it a try,'” Hubbard said.
“This is an event that will routinely pull in between 5,000 and 10,000 people, and while it was a really great event considering the rain – we had about 3,000 people – it certainly wasn’t what we were expecting,” said Sara Smith, executive director of Bedford Main Street.
About 75 vendors returned for Centerfest 2.0, and all vendors were invited back at no additional charge, Smith said.
“Having this 2.0 opportunity to show the community we are promoting this activity and this downtown environment really goes a long way,” she said.
“This is the big time when everybody gets to get together and see people they haven’t seen in a long time, so it draws in a big crowd,” Hubbard said.
Centerfest also normally includes a car show, which was rained out in October. Organizers were unable to reschedule the car show, but a D.J. volunteered to provide free music, and the food trucks returned as well, Smith said.