New leadership draws crowds to Budafest

Budafest was back with a literal bang last weekend as thousands poured onto Main Street for the 38th annual rendition of the festival.

While a handful of changes were made prior to the event, city officials, along with countless residents, felt the event was a boon to the city.

Last year, the city of Buda took over management of Budafest following issues after the event was cancelled due to weather.

A craft vendor at Budafest demonstrates the art of whittling wood. (photo by Samantha Smith)

Buda Tourism Director Lysa Gonzalez said Nov. 21 the event would happen “rain or shine.” She said the city also had an official contingency plan just in case.

According to city documents, roughly 71 craft vendors signed up to participate, which included 51 first time participants.

The event also drew an estimated 11 new food vendors.

First-time Budafest vendor Jennifer Simons said she decided to participate this year because she and her mother had an excess of custom scrapbooks and Christmas cards.

Simons said another factor was that booth rent was “pretty economical” as opposed to other events.

One of the returning booths was organized and run by the Girl Scouts of Buda and Kyle.

Girl Scout Anna Dickerson and her mother said they have been working the Girl Scout booth at Budafest for 6 years. She said the booth itself has had a place at the holiday event most likely since the event first began with the exception of last year.

Craft vendor Debbie Pesek also returned to Budafest this year selling vinyl printed creations after moving back to the Buda area and participating in the event in the 1990s.

“I’ve always gone to good events and this one is pretty good so far,” Pesek said.

Gonzalez said the city “worked really hard” on presenting Budafest to the public, primarily the efforts of the Parks and Recreations Department.

First-time Budafest craft vendor Jennifer Reed-Allen said she and two fellow residents, Erica Rodriguez and Brittany Taylor, went in on a booth together this year.

“They said it would happen rain or shine and I believe in the City of Buda, that they’ll get it done,” Reed-Allen said.

See more photos from Budafest 2017 here. 

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