Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Maifest saw rebound after 1st-day rainout

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — The weekend's periodic rain and overcast skies didn't keep crowds away from the 22nd annual Maifest.

        Organizers estimate that about 125,000 people visited Covington's MainStrasse Village during the festival's three-day run — fewer than the 150,000 projected, but more than last year's turnout of 110,000.

        “Considering how bad the weather was starting out, we're pretty happy,” said Donna Kremer, administrative coordinator of the MainStrasse Village Association.

        On Friday night, steady rain kept Maifest crowds away until about 8 p.m.

        “Everybody was down a little bit because we lost Friday basically,” Ms. Kremer said.

        However, after polling vendors on Sunday, she said about 90 percent of them were happy with the business they did during the three-day festival.

        “Some even gave us their contracts for Oktoberfest,” Ms. Kremer said of the MainStrasse celebration scheduled for Sept. 7-9.

        Arrests also were down. There were six arrests this year, all for minor offenses, said Covington Police Spc. George Russell.

        “All of our arrests came on Friday and Saturday,” Spc. Russell said. “There were zero on Sunday.”

        Last year, Covington police issued 43 parking citations and cited or arrested 27 people for various offenses, including 18 for possession of alcohol by minors.

        In recent years, police and festival organizers said they have tried to respond to residents' concerns by designating specific parking areas for them and increasing security.

        This year, a residents hot line received 25 calls during Maifest, Ms. Kremer said — five complimenting police and 20 expressing concerns. Problems included visitors parking in areas designated for MainStrasse residents and street barricades being moved aside.

        “The concerns were all very minor, and, for the most part, they were all taken care of immediately,” Ms. Kremer said.


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