Pop festival

Headlining band Chicago brought the weekend's festivities to a close.

The Texas International Pop Festival in Lewisville brought in more than 10,000 visitors as the city celebrated its semi centennial anniversary.

Held over the Labor Day weekend at the Lewisville Park Golf Course, the festival was a recreation of 1969 when the city hosted its first Texas International Pop Festival.

During the weekend's festivities, several bands and musicians including ZZ Top and Chicago took the stage.

Daren Watkins, events coordinator for the city of Lewisville, said the celebration was “absolutely fantastic.”

“We had great weather and … no health scares,” he said. “Everybody seemed to have a really good time.”

Watkins pointed to the event’s retro theme as a highlight of the celebration. According to city officials, the inaugural event, held at the former Dallas International Motor Speedway, drew more than 100,000 music fans and was held over a period of three days. The event also brought in a number of hippies, which sparked criticism from locals at the time.

Watkins said planning for this large event required “a lot of moving parts,” but the city’s staff was able to pull it off successfully. Even with thousands at the venue at one time, the area was cleared in a timely fashion, minus a few hiccups on Saturday night, Watkins said.

It was all hands on deck to make the festival run smoothly as the city’s police and fire departments ensured visitors were safe, staff and volunteers manned the venue and the Lewisville Park Golf Course provided as much space as was needed.

“This was the entire city of Lewisville’s doing,” Watkins said.

Watkins said the event wasn't about the money or ticket sales but more about bringing in outside visitors and promoting a city attraction.

“We’re doing this as a marketing piece,” Watkins said, “We did this for the publicity of an event that helped shaped our community."

Feedback so far has been positive from city leaders and the community alike. Watkins said he’s not sure if the city will host another festival, but more than likely a large-scale celebration like this one won’t come around until the next 50 years.

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