Crowds sparse at SpringFest

By SARA PAUFFspauff@ledger-enquirer.com

Rachel Shehane watched as a quarter spun in mid-air between the magician's hands.

The 10-year-old wasn't impressed.

"I saw a string," she told Charles Kete, the Columbus State University student performing tricks at a booth set up by international students at Broadway's SpringFest Saturday morning.

"I know magic — I used Wingardium Leviosa," he said, referring to a spell from Harry Potter novels. Shehane shook her head no.

She wasn't the only skeptic at SpringFest, an art and music festival put on by the Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau on Friday and Saturday. Several event goers said crowds seemed sparse and they wished more people had come to the festival. About 1,000 people came downtown Friday and another 3,500 on Saturday, said Richard Bishop president of Uptown Columbus.

"I wish there were more people here," said Columbus resident Ginger White. "There's great talent and great vendors. I don't see a lot of the community."

But White said she was having a good time.

"I love the live music," she said, standing near the stage set up on Broadway between 11th and 12th Streets, listening to a bluegrass duo. "They've done a good job putting it together."