Under a bright summer California sun, the 40th had a successful kick off Saturday.
"We don't have final numbers but we ordered more glasses of beer and we were virtually sold out by 2 p.m. today," said Oscar Garcia, executive director of the . According Garcia, they try to estiamte the number of attendees by how many wine or beer glasses they sell. "We either had more people buying beer or more people in general."
The two-day event, which fills all of Castro Street with hundreds of vendors of all types, continued to be a crowd favorite in the Bay Area.
"It's actually my first time here," said Shiela de Dios, of San Jose, who came with festival veterans Jackie Chen and Vnce T. "It's fun. It's a pretty good festival."
Other festival-goers also noticed an increase in the size and amount of people this year too. However, that didn't mean they spent their money.
That's the experience of business partners Harriet Helfricht and Manny Magellon, of the Acrylic & Clay and Groundhog Pottery booth. The pair has attended the festival for seven years and after the first day this year, they felt pessimistic about recovering their investment.
"So far it has not met my expectation," said Helfricht. "We are now the entertainment for people who come out to have fun."
The free festival makes it easy for people to just walk and browse but not shop. When they do shop, according to Magellon, it's with a mentality.
"People expect things really cheap," he said. "They don't have appreciation for handmade items made in America."
Festival attendee Marco Gabriel has come to the festival for the past 10 years. He like to people watch.
"I don't think people are spending more money," said Marco Gabriel, a Mountain View resident. "There's nothing that attracts me to buy. I just come out to enjoy the atmosphere."
The atmosphere keeps Eric Cho, of San Jose, coming back every year too. Last year he volunteered, but this year he was just going to enjoy it.
"I like the atmosphere, the mix of people. There's lots of art and food," he said. "I think it's as fun as last year."