An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 attendees sauntered up and down Main Street while enjoying balmy spring weather, sampling barbecue, dancing to live bands, and otherwise relishing the county seat’s signature downtown festival.
“We had more than 100 vendors, nine people's choice competitors, mechanical bull riding, axe throwing, a balloon twisting guy on stilts, a beer tent and amazing fireworks at 8 p.m.,” an exhausted but satisfied Main Street Crestview Association Director Sandra Wilson said after the event.
In addition to Main Street members, organizations including the Lion’s Club and the North Okaloosa Amateur Radio Club helped coordinate the event, Mrs. Wilson said. Additionally, volunteer city workers from several departments contributed manpower to the event.
“It really is a community event,” she said, “including both the people who organize it and the citizens who attend. It’s a big community effort.”
Mayor JB Whitten played a part as well. When it looked like the Triple B wasn’t going to occur in 2019, he encouraged Main Street to host it to avoid losing the festival’s year-to-year momentum.
“This is Crestview’s signature event,” the mayor said. “Niceville had its Mullet Festival, Fort Walton has the Billy Bowlegs, and we have the Triple B. We couldn’t not have it.”
Though COVID-19 ultimately caused the cancellation of last year’s Triple B, it gave organizers time to plan an even bigger and better event. A firework display leftover from the rained-out New Year’s Eve celebration capped the Triple B for the first time, and residents eager for a family-friendly outdoor event responded in droves, including many coming from out of town.
“We loved it!” attendee Millie Davis said. “The grandkids had a blast riding the bull and the food was fantastic. It was just good to get out of the house and enjoy ourselves. The downtown fireworks were beautiful, and a perfect way to end the day.”
“Catfish and Tyler Livingston & the Absolutes were playing live music and the latter band even played the national anthem with a guitar solo during the fireworks, which was amazing,” Mrs. Wilson said. “People loved it!”
Bruce Nidy, owner of Ranch House Kitchen, had an especially great day. He won the People's Choice Award, a substantial trophy and a $500 cash prize.
The next Main Street event will be the Downtown Arts Festival on May 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Courthouse Terrace, featuring handmade visual arts and crafts produced by regional artists. For exhibitor fee information, restrictions (handmade works only; no sales representatives) and to sign up, visit downtowncrestview.org.