Why Asparagus Festival attendance tanked

Kudos to Kate post for her work on the Asparagus Festival. But her explanation for the festival’s dismaying 25 percent decline in attendance this year seems way off the mark.

“The drop in attendance may be attributed to the psychological reaction to the Boston bombing incident, combined with the uncertainty of the festival’s location,” Post theorized.

Neither of those reasons rings true. That said, I’m afraid I can’t do any better.

Three explanations come to mind. The first — duh — is the unrelenting bad press the city has garnered. A Sacramento resident, fed a diet solely of TV stories of Stockton crime, may fear s/he will be gunned down in Asparagus Alley.

The second is a delayed rejection of downtown Stockton. While the waterfront is a cool location, the El Dorado Street stretch is hot and ugly. Perhaps festivalgoers pine, as I do, for the green and woodsy Oak Grove Regional Park location of old.

The third is simply that the Asparagus Festival has jumped the shark. That after you go a dozen times or so, you’ve been there, and done that. You’ll go again; but you might skip a year or two.

What do you think?

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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