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Crowd excitement helps kick off the Bootfest

Camille Doty

By Camille Doty
Oct. 21, 2011 at 5:21 a.m.
Updated Oct. 22, 2011 at 5:22 a.m.

A trickle of pedestrians strolled by the food vendors on Main Street in the opening hours of Bootfest. Ice cream, turkey legs, tacos, beer and Cuban sandwiches were on the menu.

Clara Payne doesn't need any particular reason to wear hot pink. It's been her favorite color for the past 20 years. She said it's a part of her signature look.

Friday evening gave her a reason to wear her bubble gum boots to the Bootfest.

With her husband out of town for the weekend, Payne said, "Guess I'll be going to the Bootfest. I love stuff like this." She also said she loves country music.

Payne was one of a few hundred people attending the inaugural event. The crowd attending the event got larger as the night passed.

Spectators filled the area all around DeLeon Plaza in downtown Victoria, eating, dancing and shopping. To add to the festival flavor, there was a custom-made boot shop.

Bands Curtis & Luckey, JB & the Moonshine Band, and Wade Bowen also performed on stage.

O.C. Garza, the city's communications director, said the great weather and country and western music are ideal factors for a large turnout.

"I think it's going to get crowded," he said,

Raul Villalobos, from Victoria, brought his family along with no expectation. He was pleased.

Villalobos said he met people from Houston and San Antonio at the Bootfest. He said the festival is a good idea for tourists. Villalobos said he plans to go to the festival both days because of the nice variety. On Saturday, he plans on going to the sheriff's office open house.

"It's pretty neat to be able to learn about the community and have fun," he said.

Michelle Vasquez said she's glad she can stay in town for a festival because, in the past, she's had to go out of town. The 22-year-old Victoria College student said she enjoyed the food and the music.

Vasquez said she hopes the festival puts Victoria on the map as a destination for people wanting a signature event.

"If Yorktown can have a fest, we can too," she said.

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