Jazz Fest survives bad weather, draws crowd

Despite on-and-off rain, crowds came out to Jamesville Beach Park on Friday night for the 31st annual Jazz Fest.

"It's always been a staple of summer for us, so we keep coming out," said Daniel Hurley of Syracuse.

"We enjoy it every year," said David Lewis, who says he's been to nearly ten Jazz Fests. "The high school bands are fun. The national bands are fun, too. We just enjoy it. Generally good without the rain."

Jazz Fest also attracted many young children, enjoying the evening with their parents and grandparents. "It's a wonderful thing to do with them," said Marilyn Shelleman, who brought her grandchildren visiting from Boston.

Jazz Fest also gives local vendors the opportunity to expand their businesses and attract new customers. "It's a great environment to be in," said Nancy Howell, who works at Boom Babies, a Syracuse-based clothing store. "We really like to connect with the people. We like to come out, hang out."

"I think it's bringing quite a bit of exposure," said Bill Boyd, who recently opened Mela's Italian Ice. "Last night, we had a line for two hours. We didn't stop serving ice."

There is a change to security at this year's Jazz Fest, in the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings. Coolers are still allowed, but are not encouraged. Any coolers brought to Jazz Fest are now subject to inspection.