Arts Festival Attendance Estimated at 75,000

Arts Festival Attendance Estimated at 75,000

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Arts Festival wound up its 27th annual gathering Sunday with improved attendance, attributed to its location at Library and Washington squares.

"It feels like we are home," said executive director Robyn Nelson, who estimated attendance at the four-day event would probably would top 75,000.

In the last three years, the festival moved from the Triad Center to the State Fairpark to the Gallivan Center.

Nelson expected this year's festival would return the event to profitability, covering the remaining losses suffered two years ago at the Fairpark.

"This new space fits us so well," said Nelson, adding that this year there has been more room for roaming street performers, a larger stage for orchestra and dance performances and more room to navigate strollers.

Families took advantage of the room and the shade trees that had been sparse at previous locations.

"We usually have a break, but this year it's been nonstop children," said Valerie Price, the lead volunteer in the children's art yard.

Kourtnee Smith, who has been to about every Utah Arts Festival for the past decade, endorsed the new site.

"It's nicer. With the trees, there is more shade and more space," she said. "Everything seems to have come along from other years."

"It is a beautiful location and a supportive crowd," said Molly Barnes, a glassworks artist from Portland, Ore., participating in the festival for her third year. "Yesterday was my best sales day ever."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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