GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Thousands of people from at least 33 states and two countries came together for this year’s Fall for Greenville.
Trent Hawk, chairman of the 2022 Fall for Greenville Board of Trustees, said it may have been the biggest crowd yet.
“Typically, on a normal festival year, we plan for 150,000 people over the course of three days,” explained Hawk. “I think we were probably on the high end of that, maybe close to 180,000 or 200,000 if we’re really lucky.”
7NEWS reached out to Greenville Police about the department’s plans to manage these large crowds. The department provided the following statement:
“We did not have any manpower issues this year due to the increased attendance. We are continuously evaluating the security at all special events held within the city. Security at events is critical to us, and we will continue to evaluate these events and make adjustments when/if needed.”Sgt. Johnathan Bragg, Greenville Police Department
According to the city of Greenville, more than 175,000 taste tickets were sold ahead of the festival. The event brought in more than $770,000, which will go back to the restaurants that participated.
“Every year, it gets bigger, bigger and bigger for us,” said Jeff Bennett, the baker and owner of The Pound Cake Man.
“It was incredible,” added Kristina Murphy, the Executive Vice President of Larkin’s Restaurants. “We saw more people than ever. The city was really busy.”
Preparing for an event of this size requires a lot of planning and food.
“Larkin’s ordered 700 pounds of beef,” said Murphy. “Limoncello made 1,500 meatball sliders.”
“This year, we sold probably close to 4,000 slices [of cake],” added Bennett.
The city is already preparing for next year’s festival and is keeping the large crowds in mind. For safety reasons, Hawk said the festival cannot expand past Augusta Road or E. North Street. But, he said there may be other ways to create more space.
“We hope to maybe be able to utilize Falls Park a little bit and possibly expand width-wise on the side streets,” said Hawk.
Hawk said the festival may also see an upgrade in technology in the future.
“We’re hoping in a few years to use digital tickets so you won’t have to stand in line to get paper tickets,” said Hawk. “It’ll either be an app or e-band that’s linked to your personal account that you can reload.”
Next year’s Fall for Greenville is scheduled for October 13-15, 2023.