The weather was ideal, the volunteers were prepared and the setting was ideal for the 11th annual Safety Harbor Wine Festival Saturday night.
With months of preparation and years of experience under their belts, organizers were ready for the large crowd that poured into the downtown district for the event, which began as a small fundraiser for the community and has evolved into one of the biggest singe day festivals of its kind in the country, according to officials.
"This time of year, it's something every weekend - car shows, Main Street trick or treat, 3rd Friday," Safety Harbor special events supervisor Joe Cooper said prior to the festival. "Wine Fest is just another one of those events for us, so we know how to handle it."
By all early accounts, the event was a success.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputies reported no problems early on in the evening, and Deputy Warren Fisher said having the intersection at Phillippe Parkway open was a huge plus as far as traffic flow goes.
According to Cooper, it will take a week or so before the final numbers come in regarding attendance and money raised for the four community organizations that will split the proceeds from the event.
But judging by the crowds that flowed by the Safety Harbor Patch booth, Wine Fest 2012 was a huge success.
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