Harry Potter fans curse over Jefferson festival
Complaints recall long lines, bad attactions
JEFFERSON, Wis. — Harry Potter fans are cursing the festival in Jefferson this past weekend, saying it failed to meet expectations.
Rachel Rury says she and her son waited in long lines for nearly everything – from shuttles that were hours behind to food carts that were sold out and events that cost more money despite their $30 wristband.
“Those all had lines that were multiple blocks long, and people in those lines came out and said it wasn’t worth your time,” Rury said. “People were really disappointed by the time they had waited hours in line for something.”
Similar complaints have flooded Facebook. But the city says the event was largely a success, considering it catered to at least 50,000 people over the weekend.
“We anticipated 20,000 people, and we planned for 40,000,” said city administrator Tim Freitag. “The truth is we probably had that 40,000 in a 5-hour span on Saturday.”
City officials say businesses boomed during the event. Police only count two very minor injuries and most notably, no arrests in a crowd seven times the size of the town.
“When you have that volume of people in your community, that is nothing short of phenomenal,” said Police Chief Kennith Pileggi.
Administrators admit the unexpectedly oversized crowd was both a blessing and a curse.
Organizers also defend their festival, saying many families had fun, but adding improvements – especially to transportation – are already in the works for next year.
“It’s about having fun, and if it’s not fun for some people, we’re going to evaluate that and make changes,” said organizer Rob Cramer.
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