FREMONT--Kayla Curatolo tried to keep up with her 2-year-old son, Brody, blonde curls bouncing as he made his way to the inflatable slide at the Daffodil Festival on Saturday afternoon.
He was on a mission, and he was not alone. In the midst of the KidZone area, it was the most popular draw with the longest line.
"We rode the train," she said, adding that they "came to play."
Curatolo tore off a red ticket, handing it to Brody, who in turn gave it to the ticket-taker. Mother and son climbed the steps to the top of the inflatable, positioned themselves and just as quickly slid down to the base.
This weekend marked the 32nd year for the annual event in northern Wayne County. Last year's reportedly had boasted its largest turnout to date, with an estimated crowd of 12,000.
Organizers said this year just may have topped that.
"It really went incredibly smooth as far as set up," said Keith Stewart, whose day started around 5:45 a.m. "It was great and we got, I think the best turnout we have ever had. Last year was the biggest one we ever had, until this year."
By midday he was battling losing his voice.
The hoarseness was only problematic, he shrugged, "because I'm supposed to sing with the choir (Sunday)."
He didn't let it slow him down, though, making his way among the crowd and pausing to talk with anyone who called out his name.
After all, they are the best possible reason for the event.
"Seeing the people -- particularly the people that come back year after year," he said. "I see friends from high school and that's what's fun to me about the whole thing.
"Don't get me wrong -- I love the food, love the music."
Downtown Fremont was a mix of wall to wall people and an assortment of vendors, from kielbasi, ribs and typical fare like cotton candy and funnel cakes to crafts and entertainment like the ever-popular Embers, who drew a large crowd.
Something else that's "really cool," Stewart said, are the local performers, such as the preschool and elementary school students who "do a great job" and bring the crowd with them.
The weather is an unpredictable variable, he noted, recalling the off years when it has been cold or rainy.
"We have to plan it a year ahead of time," he said. "So to book like the Embers you have to book them a year ahead of time. There's no telling what the weather's going to be.
"Having such a bad March weatherwise has helped us. Everybody was ready to get out. And by falling on Easter weekend, we actually discussed that but thought, people were going to be in town for Easter."
Brenda Paul has also been involved in the organization since the inception.
"Brenda works really hard as far as vendors and entertainment to make it as family-friendly as possible," Stewart said. "We really strive to keep that family atmosphere, that small-town atmosphere.
"And that's what people expect," Paul said.