ELKHART — The weather was beautiful all weekend for the 33rd annual Rhapsody in Green, and it showed in the attendance.
Karin Frey, superintendent of the Parks and Recreation Department, admitted she was a little worried initially about what effect the closing of the Bicentennial Bridge would have on attendance, but was extremely pleased with the turnout.
The event didn’t go off without its minor hitches, however. There was some grumbling about the closing of the bridge and also some discontent over the $1 admission price.
According to Frey, such complaints came about mostly through misunderstandings or not enough information.
She said the Parks Department was notified about the bridge too close to the beginning of the festival to be able to move it, so without any other choice, they simply tried to let people know of the inconvenience in advance. She also noted that parking for the festival has always been limited, which may have contributed to people’s frustration.
As for the admission, she said this was the third year they actually charged to get into the event. She stressed that it’s for a good cause. A percentage of each dollar was given to Santa’s Pantry, to help purchase food that will be distributed throughout the community to those in need. The balance of the funds raised will help to pay for the weekend’s entertainment.
These complaints apparently had little affect on attendance, though, and the amout festival goers were willing to spend among the nearly 90 different vendors. Frey stated that food vendors had sold out both Friday and Saturday, and many crafters were seeing their best sales in years.
Tom Atkinson, in his first year in charge of the vendors and lifelong Elkhart County resident, was simply pleased to be able to give back to the city and work with the vendors. “Our vendors are very, very nice, wonderful people to work with,” he said gratefully.
Nitpicking aside, the latest edition of Elkhart’s Rhapsody in Green appeared to be one of the most successful in years.
“I just hope the people that came down here had a good time,” Frey concluded.