NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — The Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton are preparing to host the Northeast Food Festival & Balloon Rally Expo next weekend.
However, the company putting on the three-day event has come under fire recently after problems at two of their festivals in Connecticut.
Last weekend in Bloomfield, CT, VAP Events hosted the third-annual Connecticut Taco Festival with 13 food vendors, but hundreds of people complained they ran out of food.
The festival’s organizer spoke with Western Mass News on Tuesday and said they have extra plans in place as they prepare for tens of thousands of people expected next week’s for the balloon festival in Northampton.
“We just want to make sure everyone’s happy and having a good time,” said festival director Veronica Parsloe.
From July 12-14, the Three County Fairgrounds will be full of bright, big hot air balloons. This is the first time the Northeast Food & Balloon Festival is taking place in Northampton.
“Last year, we ran the festival at sort of a country club up in New Hampshire. The venue wasn’t the right fit because of the layout of the venue. It was too small. We found that balloon festival attracts a large number of people,” Parsloe said.
Parsloe told Western Mass News they have already sold more than 7,000 tickets during their pre-sale and expect more than 30,000 over the entire weekend.
However, last weekend in Connecticut, our sister station WFSB reported hundreds of people were upset after they attended one of VAP events festivals in Bloomfield.
“One thing that we’ve found with the festivals that we’ve produced, especially when it’s your first year, you want to keep the number of vendors low just to make sure the vendors are successful because you never know what the turnout is going to be, especially in your first year…and again with the balloon festival, this is our second year, so as the prepaid tickets have been sold, we’ve been following the prepaid ticket sales and coordinating that with our vendors so we have enough food vendors,” Parsloe said.
Parsloe added that they’ve continued to reach out to their food vendors who will be at the Balloon Festival, letting them know about what kinds of crowds to expect.
“We prepare our vendors and say around 4 to 10 p.m. is when the big rush is going to be, so be prepared,” Parsloe noted.
Parsloe told WFSB they never ran out of tacos at the festival in Connecticut. She said maybe two or three vendors late in the day ran out, but they still had more food trucks on site.
As for the food and Balloon Festival, so far they have 30 food and 50 craft vendors for the three-day event.
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