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Festival draws nearly 4,000

<p><strong>Whispering spirits:</strong> Martha Johnson, a certified music practitioner, plays the flute at the Mount Magazine International Butterfly Festival, which was held last Friday and Saturday in Paris and at Mount Magazine State Park.</p>

Whispering spirits: Martha Johnson, a certified music practitioner, plays the flute at the Mount Magazine International Butterfly Festival, which was held last Friday and Saturday in Paris and at Mount Magazine State Park.

The 18th edition of the Mount Magazine International Butterfly Festival saw nearly 4,000 people attend events at the Logan County Fairgrounds and at Mount Magazine State Park, despite the threat of bad weather, high temperatures and lots of humidity.

Tonya Baumgartner, Executive Director of the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event, said that 2,500 people were counted coming through the gate at the fairgrounds. Becky Bariola, Superintendent at Mount Magazine State Park, located 19 miles south of Paris, said 1,300 people attended events there.

Both said everything went well last Friday and Saturday, when the festival took place.

“There were great vendors, great entertainment and a lot of things to do,” Baumgartner said Monday. “I had some of the vendors tell me they love it and are planning to come back for Frontier Day in October,” Baumgartner said.

“We were really busy Saturday,” Bariola said. “The lodge, cabins and campgrounds were full and the restaurant was constantly busy. Things went well.”

Weather played a part in events. The fairgrounds was hit by a brief shower during the event and two brief thunderstorms hit Mount Magazine last Friday, according to Bariola.

The fairgrounds hosted arts and craft and food vendors, a petting zoo, helicopter and horse rides, a play area for children, a photography and art contest and entertainment. Paris also hosted the event’s annual pageant, which took place Friday night at the auditorium at Paris Middle School (see the story on Page 2). The mountain hosted nature-oriented events and a concert.

Baumgartner said this year’s festival drew 70 vendors and some of them were pleased.

“Vendors that had good prices did really well,” she said. “Some vendors sold out of items.

“I had more than 70 vendors confirm they were going to show up and probably five of them didn’t show up,” she said.

Baumgartner added that the entertainment staged Friday and Saturday was a hit with those in attendance.

“The entertainment went really well,” she said. “I had one person tell me he didn’t know this area had so much talent.”

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