Best attendance ever at Juan de Fuca Festival, director assures

PORT ANGELES — Best attendance ever?

Anna Manildi thinks so.

The executive director of the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts assured Monday that she’s never seen such a crowd at the four-day event since its inception in 1993.

“There is no question,” said Manildi after seeing singer/guitarist Erica Luckett perform at the Vern Burton Center’s Chamber Stage.

“Every time I go to one stage or another, I see just so many people enjoying themselves.”

Last year’s festival attendance was estimated at 12,000 people.

While she couldn’t provide exact numbers, Manildi said festival officials were experiencing an especially high Monday turnout.

The reason?

The warm weather and no chance of rain, she said.

That was certainly the consensus among vendors who have been coming back to the festival year after year.

Besides the performers, vendors also provide festival-goers with things to do and see — especially for those who don’t buy tickets for the performances, Manildi said.

“I think this is the best year we’ve had,” said Charlie Jantawong, owner of Bangkok Bistro of Anacortes, as a long line of hungry festival-goers waited in line at her food booth under the afternoon sun.

“This is our 11th year here and we really love it.”

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