Although official numbers for this year’s SuperEX won’t be in until this afternoon, organizers are expecting attendance numbers to close in around half a million visits, making the event one of the best ever.
“We expect numbers will be even higher than last year’s,” said Doug Hempstead, manager of marketing and communications.
Rain on Saturday hurt the turnout on what would have been the busiest day for SuperEX, which wrapped up last night at Lansdowne Park. But events like the free poker tournament — which drew players from all over North America — the roller derby and the April Wine concert brought thousands of people in, Hempstead said.
“We’ve had very good weather throughout, compared to what Bluesfest was up against, so we’re very happy,” he said.
Hempstead said he believes one reason that attendance was up this year was that with a recession going on, “people didn’t make the big trips out of town this year to Wonderland and/or Marineland. They just came to SuperEX.”
And once they did, there was plenty to do, he said.
“We made sure there was something for everybody,” Hempstead said. “We catered to everyone, young and old. Even a single family might have people with six different tastes.”
As with other years, the midway was one of the most popular attractions, but new features, including the strolling performers, educational animal shows and the apple pie-baking contest for charity were also popular, Hempstead said.
Also finishing a run at Hog’s Back Park last night was Carnivale Lune Bleue.
The second annual event faced weather challenges when it opened late July, said event spokeswoman Stephanie Egan.
“But we made the best of the situation and managed to rebound quite nicely,” she said. “We had some luck in the latter weekends, and the carny wedding went off without a hitch. And once people realized the shows were under tents and that they could still enjoy the shows, it was a bit better.”