Week four of the 2017 Texas Renaissance Festival turned out to be a harsh lesson on how outside influences affect attendance. A dire weather forecast, a baseball championship, rain in the area and a cold front on Sunday all combined to drive down the numbers for the weekend.
As a reminder, I’m comparing this weekend to third weekend of 2016-
Saturday’s attendance started off quite brisk, but nobody really expected that to last. The forecast for most of the week leading up to the festival predicted rain for most of the weekend. In the event there was no rain at the festival, just another hot and muggy day. There was rain in the Houston area, some of it heavy, and that probably kept many from getting on the road. Another factor impacting Saturday was the Houston Astros playing in game 7 of the ALCS at 7pm. About 12:30 people arriving at the festival dropped off dramatically: If you wanted to attend the festival and get home in time to see the game, you needed to arrive by noon.
|2017||Partly Cloudy, High 87°, Low 73°, 74% Avg. Humidity.||Rain to Partly Cloudy, High 77°, Low 60 °, 71% Avg. Humidity.|
|2016||Clear, High 77°, Low 46 °, 45% Avg. Humidity||Partly Cloudy, High 81°, Low 52 °, 51% Avg. Humidity|
As I noted above, it was hot and muggy again on Saturday, several people succumbing to heat exhaustion. Sunday morning brought a dramatic cold front, with winds and 14 degree temperature drop just after 7 a.m. and heavy rains a few minutes later. The rain took about three hours to pass through and then it turned in to a beautiful fall day. The damage had been done and few came out to enjoy it with us. To be fair the rain in Houston continued until later in the day, and people probably didn’t want to get out in it.
This weekend’s weather looks to be much nicer and much cooler. Right now the prediction is for a hard freeze Sunday morning, so pack your woollies if you are camping!
Coming up- All Hallow’s Eve. A favourite with families, remember there will be trick-or-treating throughout the kingdom on both days for the kids.
See you at the gates… Until then, ‘Fare thee well!’
Sir David Falstaff
Captain, Texas Renaissance Festival Beefeaters