Hot and severe weather decreased attendance at the 2011 Dublin Irish Festival by about 10 percent.

Hot and severe weather decreased attendance at the 2011 Dublin Irish Festival by about 10 percent.

The annual festival report released by Dublin last week shows a drop in both attendance and revenue at the three-day event, a decline that planners say was caused by weather.

In 2010, the Dublin Irish Festival had about 102,000 guests, said event administrator Alison LeRoy. This year’s event drew 92,000.

“We were down about 10 percent and a lot of that was due to weather we had on Saturday and Sunday,” she said. “On Friday, we had our second-largest Friday ever.”

While sponsorships in 2011 were up 17 percent over 2010, generating $248,000 in revenue for the festival, overall revenue was down by 5 percent, LeRoy said.

In 2010, the festival brought in $1.84 million, but this year’s event took in $1.74 million.

Admission revenue was down, as was beverage revenue and revenue from the wee folk area, which decreased from $48,208 in 2010 to $38,275 in 2011.

Hot temperatures and storms around central Ohio on Saturday and severe weather on Sunday led to the decline in revenues, LeRoy said.

“Saturday was extremely hot and there were storms throughout central Ohio, even though it never rained in Dublin,” she said. “We know that affects our attendance as well.”

Sundays are big days for families, LeRoy said, and severe weather caused the festival to close early and evacuate people into the municipal building and Dublin Community Recreation Center.

“The wee folk area is big on Sunday, so that really hurt us. And when it’s that hot, parents don’t put their kids in bouncies because they worry,” she said.

The severe weather on Sunday afternoon did give festival organizers a chance to test out the event’s emergency plan, however.

“One of the things with an evacuation, we had a plan in place for years, but never got a chance to test the plan,” LeRoy said. “We learned a lot about how it works and made a few tweaks for the future. We’re happy to have a plan in place and know we can handle it.”

This year’s festival was put on with the help of more than 1,300 volunteers who put in 12,600 hours.

Five “Best of the Fest” awards were announced last week to recognize outstanding volunteers and groups at the 2011 festival.

Jerry Tracy, the chair of the Sunday services committee, was given the leadership award.

The adult event award went to Debbie Giddings, who has volunteered at the festival since 2007.

Mark Widerschein was honored with the youth event award. The 16-year-old volunteer was recognized for his willingness to give his time.

The family award went Molly, Catherine and Clare Willbacher. Molly has worked at the festival with her two daughters for six years.

Rea and Associates was given the group award for its work at the Celtic Rock Club for the past three years.

The Dublin Irish Festival will return Aug. 3 to 5, 2012, for its 25th anniversary.

“We are pretty deep in planning now,” LeRoy said. “We’re working hard on booking entertainers, trying to bring back old favorites that have been here throughout the years. It would be nice to have a band that was here at the fifth Irish festival or 10th so they can come back and see how the festival has changed.”