Because it seemed like everyone in the entire town was in front of The Sandbar last night.

Last night’s “Get Downtown” event was super successful, if the crowds were a way to judge. People started trickling into The Sandbar around 3 or 4 p.m., including members of the Twang Daddies, the first band to play at the event. The KU pep band, cheerleaders, and dance team were out early to put on a performance for the crowd.

Here’s what it looked like early:

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We learned a lot from our experience with this event last year. Our beer garden on the sidewalk was a little bigger, and we added another wall on the other side of our door. That made it a lot easier on Chris the door guy- the crowd kind of funneled through a much smaller area, so it was easier for him to check ID’s and keep our beer in and other beer out. We also switched to using all plastic, all night- no glasses to pick up and wash. And no broken glass to clean up.

The crowd steadily increased all night. As soon as $ell Out hit the stage, the entire block was packed. It was a really cool view from the upstairs windows:

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Did you notice the beads hanging from the wires? Peach thought it would be fun to toss beads out the windows to the crowds, a la’ Mardi Gras. The kids loved it. We also tossed out several Sandbar t-shirts, but someone forgot to tell the employees downstairs. They thought some jokester was upstairs pitching merchandise out the window, unauthorized, and our good staff promptly tried to round up the goods.

What a fun night. This event needs to happen more than once a year, it’s obvious the people love it. And it’s great for all the businesses. From what we could tell, there weren’t any problems, either, with such a large crowd. Once the bands were finished around 10 p.m., the crowds started to die down outside. We stayed busy, though, and the Bar Band made their appearance around 11:30.

Fun times.