Warm weather elevates Sunfest

Organizers feeling boost from higher temperatures

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Sunfest is one of the biggest events of the year in West Palm Beach and in its 30th year of existence, 2012 might have been one of the best yet.

Sunfest organizers said there was a constant flow of people throughout the five days of the music festival. They point to the huge variety of national acts, Cinco de Mayo and heavy dose of sun.

"We don't pause for very long to rest or look at success until weeks after we clean up. But the general feeling is, is that it's been one of the top Sunfests," said Melissa Sullivan, a Sunfest spokesperson.

The warmer weather did not sit well with everyone, some were caught off guard by the higher temperatures.

"You put alcohol in the mix and then loud noises, it makes it a little difficult to communicate and understand," said Cory Silver of West Palm Beach Fire Rescue.

Silver said he and his crew saw a lot of dehydration due to many opting for alcohol instead of water. When crews were called to respond, it was not easy.

"You try let it not get to you and stay focused on what we're doing, trying to accomplish and just try and use whatever details to where they're at and what's wrong with them," said Silver.

Most stayed safe and when they did, they spent money at local hotels and restaurants. 

Sullivan said the success of the festival went beyond the gates of Sunfest. She said nearby businesses and hotels benefit heavily and estimates Sunfest pumps around $13 million dollars into the local economy.

South Flagler Drive will be closed on Monday. Organizers estimate the southbound lanes should reopen Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. and northbound lanes will reopen Wednesday at 7:00 a.m.

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