SunFest proves successful for safety efforts, profitable for vendors

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The final band has left the stage and the crowds have cleared. SunFest 2014 has officially wrapped up for it's 33rd year.

Organizers, police, paramedics and vendors are all calling the week a success.

"You know, you have 150,000 people down here over five days. I can't really say there was a problem," said Capt. Dave Bernhardt, spokesman for the West Palm Beach Police Department.

Bernhardt said very few arrests were made, "hardly any at all… It's been a very good crowd. They're enjoying themselves."

Bernhardt says a new effort to handle medical concerns on site also helped police focus on other safety concerns promptly.

The deputy commander of the state medical response team, Richard Weisman, says anywhere from 100 to 150 people were treated on site at SunFest for the first time this year.

They were treated for anything from bee stings to heatstroke. Treated for free on site and not in the hospital.

"We're able to take care of a lot of those people and kind of keep the normal healthcare system operating properly," Weisman said.

Vendors also say each year seems to be more profitable.

The Forest Hill High School marching band returned to SunFest for a second year to raise money for their program.

"Last year, we made about $3,000. This year we're looking to make a lot more," said Color Guard Director, Daniel Perez.

Palm Beach Sandals also returned to SunFest, knowing it's a great opportunity to gain exposure for the business.

"It gets the brand out there and people love the sandals. Women love them," said company VP, Evan White.

White says they'll return in years to come, as they only become more successful. "Very excited. We love Sunfest."

Last year, SunFest organizers say the event brought nearly $15 million to the local economy.

They will be rapidly crunching numbers to see exactly what the local economic impact was this year.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments