What a day we had last Saturday, wow! The largest crowds ever for Boom Days and Third Saturday Sunset. Downtown Fort Payne bustled all day, the crowd was consistent and really never dropped down in the late afternoon, as has happened some years due to football games. The Rotary Pavilion was overflowing for all of the afternoon shows and by the time the Swampers came on and Delbert McClinton people were standing in the parking lot and the Alabama Walking Park listening to the great concert. When the Swampers performed Sweet Home Alabama the crowd went wild, after all it is the Swampers that performed on the original hit record by Lynyrd Skynyrd. We had 22 music acts on five stages from the fantastic Hootenanny at the Opera House to Fort Payne City Park and the stage in the courtyard at the DeKalb Theater and on the stage inside the DeKalb Theater. The music kept on going deep into the evening with a fantastic performance by Leah Seawright and her band. They sang a wide arrangement of songs from gospel to rock and roll, country, blues and some great Elton John classics. As soon as Leah was done it was time for the rock and roll show at the DeKalb Theater with Flow Tribe. They put on a great show for a good audience. Katie Sunshine and the Trapeze artists from Boom Days put on a Hula Hoop show while Flow Tribe was performing, it was so much fun.
Collins Kirby and the Boom Days committee and Johnny Eberhart, Amelia Landstreet and the Third Saturday committee did a great job in putting together an event that lasted that long with consistent crowds throughout.
There is great economic impact for last weekend. We had the largest out of town crowd ever for Boom Days. I estimated the total crowd based on a tourism formula that counts density per city block with a multiplier based on two hour turnover rates. I estimate we had 12,000 to 15,000 total for the entire day including all events. The hotels, cabins, campgrounds all enjoyed great weekend business due to Boom Days. The average family of four contributes $436.00 a day into our economy for each night they spend here. They pay for their lodging, they eat, they buy gas, they shop and they go to attractions. This helps our city, county and state because more tax revenue is collected. Last weekend was a win, win event for all of us. We should be proud to have a great weekend like this each year to celebrate our rich cultural heritage. I loved it all. A special thanks from DeKalb Tourism to Mayor Chesser (better known on Saturday as the Marshal), the Fort Payne City Council, the Boom Days and Third Saturday planning committees and to Parks and Recreation, the police and fire departments and all the volunteers we had all day.