Organizers estimate 345,000 people came to 2018 Edmonton Heritage Festival: 'We are really thrilled'

It’s not the record-breaking numbers seen last year, but organizers of the Edmonton Heritage Festival say they are very pleased to have brushed aside concerns over road construction near Hawrelak Park and transportation concerns to bring in 345,000 people to this year’s event.

“We are really thrilled that so many people came out and were able to access the park quickly and easily,” the Edmonton Heritage Festival Association’s executive, Jim Gibbon, said in a news release issued after the festival wrapped up Monday night. “The weather on Sunday and Monday couldn’t have been better.

“Without volunteers and our amazing cultural communities this event couldn’t take place,” Gibbon added.

READ MORE: IN PHOTOS: Edmontonians hit up Heritage Festival for a cultural experience

Watch below: The Edmonton Heritage Festival got underway at Hawrelak Park on Saturday and our Margeaux Maron was there.

The initial attendance estimate of 345,000 is not only less than last year’s record-setting 480,000 figure, but also less than Sunday’s attendance figures in 2017 alone.

The Sunday of the 2017 edition of the cultural celebration saw some significant wait times for festival attendees as buses struggled to get in and out of the site because of snarled traffic after 350,000 people showed up to Hawrelak Park in a single day.

READ MORE: Heritage Festival smashes attendance record in 2017

Watch below: Record-breaking attendance at the Edmonton Heritage Festival resulted in buses coming to a standstill in 2017.

Ahead of this year’s event, festival organizers knew they could be faced with more transportation issues because of rehabilitation work being done on the Groat Road Bridge. They worked with Edmonton Transit Service officials to come up with a plan that included a dedicated bus lane in and out of Hawrelak Park.

Gibbon also thanked everyone who made getting in and out of the park easier by walking or biking to the event.

READ MORE: New efforts at Edmonton Heritage Festival aim to make it more eco-friendly

The Heritage Festival featured food and cultural performances from 100 different “countries and cultures” at 71 outdoor pavilions and 25 stages this year.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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