A Georgetown trade show scheduled to run until Sunday closed several days early because of low turnout, organizers said.
Director Summer Frost said the Georgetown Equine Expo, which started Sept. 24, closed for two reasons: because it lacked support and because of low turnout during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The Expo, which included a Wild West show each night, was in the parking lot of the Factory Stores of America on Outlet Center Drive.
"The people who saw it, loved it," Frost said of the Wild West show. She said organizers have given refunds to people who bought tickets for upcoming performances of that show.
Frost said the expo lured 400 to 1,000 people a day, and there were often only a couple dozen people at the nightly hour-and-a-half show which cost about $100,000. She said the expo expected 4,000 people a day.
Katrina Privett, who lives in McCreary County, operated the Country Fried Concessions booth at expo. She sold fried foods, including funnel cakes, Oreos and peanut butter and jelly.
Privett said she and her husband, owner Jerry Privett, paid $1,500 for space at the festival, which was a low price compared to what she heard other larger vendors paid. Katrina Privett said she spent at least $1,000 on food.
But Privett said she decided not to stay at the festival after she made $27 Saturday. She'd made about $30 the day before.
"If I want to sit in a chair and drink pop and smoke cigarettes, I can do that all by myself at home," Katrina Privett said.
Privett said organizers told her to expect 3,000 people a day, and she wanted to catch at least 500 to 1,000 of those people each day, selling at least one $6 funnel cake to each customer.
"When I got there I couldn't hardly believe it," Privett said.
Privett said she could have made more money if she had set up her booth downtown in her hometown of Strunk in McCreary County.
She said numbers being reported on attendance at the Games were inaccurate because they included people such as volunteers and schoolchildren. She said there were not 30,000 to 40,000 people a day visiting the Horse Park as expected, and the low turnout had a trickle-down effect.
Julie Swanson of Blazing Trail Enterprises in Minnesota said people started to leave the expo earlier this week, after a slow weekend. Swanson said she wanted to stay but the expo was no longer the 100-plus vendor event being advertised. Swanson said she'd also heard reports about thefts.
"We would have stayed until the very end, but everyone was pulling out," Swanson said. "The tent was empty and the sides were blowing in."