Buckarama weekend draws large crowd because of reality star
The last day of Buckarama at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry came to an end on Sunday but Georgia Wildlife Federations event organizers say the addition of a TV reality star may have helped bring in a larger crowd this year and more money.
More than 160 vendors came out to the 28th annual event which some say brought in many people.
"Thousands of people,” owner of Georgia Hydrographics Alan Combs said. “It's been a great business event for us."
And Georgia Wildlife Marketing Director Sam Stowe agrees.
"Business has been great,” he said. “Most of the vendors are talking about really good sales. It's been really good as far as the gate for Georgia Wildlife. Everything's been really good."
So good that vendors said they can tell a difference from a year ago.
"It's been a lot better, from last year,” Britt’s Leather business manager Dylan Britt said. “Last year was kind of slow but this year has been great."
Even though it was the last day, vendors said they stayed busy with customers until the events final hours. Vendors said the increase of foot traffic may be in part to Lizard Lick Towing reality star, Bobby Brantley, coming to the event and bringing fans of the show in.
"Bobby's done a good job for us he brought a crowd in for us,” Stowe said. “People are happy to see Bobby here in Perry."
Brantley was in the building taking pictures and signing autographs with fans. Some people waiting in line to see him said they specifically came to Buckarama to see him.
"We got in the truck and they're (my parents were) like we're going to meet Bobby and I said oh my God and I started crying," fan of the show Ashley Kennedy said.
Brantley hasn't been able to walk around the event much but he said he appreciated people coming out for him.
"It's got to be the Lizard Lick fans,” Brantley said. “Really, all I get to see because from the time I get here to the time they shut the door, that's all I do is see fans."
Stowe said the more fans Brantley brings in the better business opportunities available for vendors and more money the federation can raise towards conservation and wildlife educational programs. Stowe said he hopes Buckarama raised more than $50,000 for the federation.