A few hundred people were seen strolling down
The Wild West festival, held since 2000, drew upward of 100,000 people when the city transformed the area into a historic town filled with performers and props by piling in 200 tons of dirt. But to recreate the 1850s atmosphere, 3,000 gallons of water was needed daily to keep the dust down, and another 100,000 gallons of water to wash the dirt away at the end. The cancellation caught the
On Saturday, several shop owners had harsh words for Americana.
"This is a nonevent," said
"This is not a halfway event. A lot of planning took place," he said. "It's not Gold Rush Days, but we've tried to give people reasons to come down to Old Sacramento."
Asked Saturday whether Americana was meeting his expectations, Testa said, "You need to look at it this way: what would be the traffic in Old Sacramento if there was nothing?"
Testa said the visitors bureau wouldn't have attendance numbers until Tuesday. He declined to provide an estimate Saturday, but said, "We didn't expect to have Gold Rush Day numbers out here, but there's an awful lot of people coming down to the program."
The antique cars and museum tours didn't impress
"It's nothing like Gold Rush Days," said
The visitors bureau said earlier that the event wouldn't be safe without dirt because performers needed it as a cushion.
Several attendees interviewed on Saturday by
"We had no idea this was going on," said Ontiveros, standing on the wooden planked sidewalk.
"It's a relaxing, laid back day of nothing," he said with a chuckle.
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