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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2017

A mirror image

Old Threshers Reunion just misses matching 2016 attendance figure
Sep 11, 2017
Photo by: Brooks Taylor Final attendance figures from the 3017 Midwest Old Threshers Reunion Aug. 31-Sept. 4 nearly equalled the 2016 figures. Old Threshers CEO Terry McWilliams said 35,717 people attended the 2017 reunion, just 135 less than 2016’s figure of 35,855.

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News

 

When Midwest Old Threshers CEO Terry McWilliams looks at the recently completed 2017 reunion, he sees 2016. That’s a good thing.

“This year (2017) was almost a mirror image of 2016,” McWilliams said as he looked at attendance figures. “We had five days of beautiful weather. Old Threshers is largely weather driven, and we had good weather. Our attendance figures show the effect of the weather.”

In 2016, Old Threshers welcomed 35,855 guests, the largest attendance figure in a half decade, McWilliams noted. This year’s figure of 35,717 was just 135 less than the previous year. This year’s reunion was from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4.

Of the 35,717 attending, some 13,389 purchased five-day passes, another 21,794 bought one-day tickets and 534 veterans took advantage of Veterans Day on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Two other significant factors were given by McWilliams as helping to bolster the attendance. “It’s affordable, family entertainment. Secondly, all the entertainment had large entertainment, larger than last year. All four nights (of entertainment) were just great.”

The reunion offers a special five-day pass price of $20 for early-bird sales. This year, nearly 9,000 advance tickets were sold, McWilliams stated. “People realize that if they buy tickets early, they can take advantage of the special price and get all the benefits.”

A large-scale event necessitates a lot of people hours and volunteers always play a major role in OT’s success, McWilliams emphasized. “Last year 870 volunteers gave us 40,000 volunteer hours and we always end up with 800 to 900 volunteers helping us each year.”

Saturday’s attendance was the largest of the five days, the CEO said, but quickly added that the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) always draws big crowds because adults aren’t working and their children are not in school.

McWilliams isn’t sitting back, however, enjoying the success of the 2017 reunion. “I thought 2017 was great in all levels and aspects. Everybody (vendors, etc.) did well. Overall it was a great success, and we already are working on 2018.”

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