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Two days of fun brings out crowd

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By Bob Reichman

It’s was a weekend filled with entertainment and fun as the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce hosted its second annual Sumter County Beef and Boogie Festival.
The event opened last Friday evening at the Sumter County Farmers Market in Webster and continued through Saturday evening.
Live entertainment, food, games, a beef cook-off and plenty of vendors greeted the crowds as they wandered through the market grounds.
“We’re delighted with how the event went,” said Andy Cripps, chamber executive director.
“Obviously, we had wonderful weather, which made the evenings more comfortable than last year,” he said. “We don’t have definite numbers yet, but I would estimate that we had between 4,000 and 4,500 people attend.”
A large draw happened Friday evening when the crowds turnout out to see Michael Ray and his band.
“Ray attracted about twice the audience we had on Friday evening last year, despite being up against a South Sumter High School football game,” Cripps said.
Michael Ray recently won the national talent competition on the CW television show “The Next.” He was groomed for stardom by country music superstar John Rich of Big and Rich.
The event continued into Saturday with plenty of entertainment throughout the day and into the evening.
Cripps said the crew at the Farmers Market was “amazing in preparing the venue for the event, and in the daunting task of cleaning up and restoring the market afterward,” he said. “We are tremendously grateful for their help and support.”
Coordinated by Chamber of Commerce task force, the event will be reviewed and discussed to determine any glitches, improvements or changes for next year.
“We’ve learned a lot from each event and always see areas for improvement, but overall we feel like the Beef and Boogie Festival was a success and we look forward to doing it again.”