Guest Column: Mumford’s historic visit

400-MUMFORD-INDIANS-GARDNERGuest Column: Mumford’s historic visit

Former Mayor George M. Gardner
St. Augustine, FL

Troy Ohio, Guthrie Oklahoma and other small towns visited by Mumford and Sons on their Gentlemen of the Road tour likely have less tourism than St. Augustine, but city officials here hope this successful stop can grow the already sizeable 6-7 million annual visitor count.

Visitors praised smooth operations managing traffic and crowd flow as residents went to standby for the mega-concert weekend.

Event parking signs appeared everywhere Friday, at $20, $40, $60 a day – many prices lowered by day two with vacancies.

Downtown was like a ghost town Friday morning – perhaps in part due to a flashing sign on US-1 – “No Parking downtown” and normal businesses calling it a day.

Getting around by car was tricky downtown for workforce and folks with neighborhood permits. Going from point A, to point B, became less than direct on neighborhood streets blocked by unmanned barricades.

The concert was an opportunity for non-profit organizations to earn money volunteering. Kathy Weed of the Children’s Museum of St. Johns gathered 150 volunteers a day to man drink booths, earning 30¢ a drink for the museum for each $10 can of beer, Margarita, or smaller drink.

As one arts activist was reported to say, “We’re making history right here.”

Not bad for a small town once known as the nation’s oldest city.

Article originally appeared in The St Augustine Report

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