11th Annual SC Pecan Festival draws people despite weather

11th Annual SC Pecan Festival draws people despite weather

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The weather was blustery in the Pee Dee Saturday, but it didn't keep new and familiar faces off the streets for the 11th Annual Pecan Festival.

Scarfs, jackets, hats and umbrellas took over the Evans, Irby, Dargon and Cheves streets.

Vendors kept their energy high despite the not so festival like weather.

"It's a little cold and a little windy and rainy but it's okay. It doesn't stop us from keeping it going," said Lee Cross Junior, a vendor.

More than 250 vendors, kids rides, and five different beer and wine gardens brought visitors to Florence.

Organizers anticipated more than 50,000 people, but the weather could decrease that turn out significantly. However, those who showed up made the best of it.

Billy Darby, a regular visitor said, "My favorite thing so far is the people, they are so friendly and happy!"

But the 285 local volunteers and the Florence Downtown Development Corporation worked around the clock to make it all possible.

"There is so much work. I mean, we plan this festival all year round. As soon as we finish this year, we'll start again for next year," said Allene Tellis with the Florence Downtown Development Corporation.

New this year, organizers provided more free park and ride shuttle services to convenience all who checked out the festival.

Chuck MacNeil, Executive Director of PDRTA explained, "More and more people each year are finding out about it and taking advantage of it. They drive right to the parking lot, they get on the bus, no fuss, no muss. It takes them right to the festival, they walk right into the festival grounds and they return the same way."

It's a hand in hand partnership with the festival and local shops - bringing people to the area for the event attractions and building a relationship to make visitors life long customers.

The Florence Downtown Development Corporation puts all the funds made from the festival into a general fund that goes right back to revitalizing downtown Florence.

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