Inaugural Gnarnia festival draws thousands to Beech
Reports from law enforcement and promoters vary, but about 4,000 people — adorned in colorful garb and hailing from different parts of the country — attended the three-day music and arts festival, adding a welcome late-summer boon to hotels and cabin rentals.
While drug arrests reached record numbers, residents of Beech remained safe, thanks to the diligent work of Beech Mountain Police Department, and many area businesses thrived from the new customers.
“Our town manager up there, over the weekend, came up with a good way to put it: The good was better than we expected, but the bad was worse than we expected,” Beech Mountain Mayor Rick Owen said.
“Over the next week or so, a lot of information will come out about the event,” he said, “and that will allow people to make a better determination if it was good or bad for our community.”