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Rain Draws Festival Crowds Inside 

The rain sent folks scattering from the American Folk Festival Saturday, and apparently steered them to some area businesses in record numbers.Nearly 10 thousand people headed to Hollywood Slots, and a record amount of money went into their machines.”The total coin-in, or the amount wagered, was about 6.1 million. Now, you realize, we don’t keep all that, we actually pay out about 92 percent of that amount back to our players,” says Jon Johnson, general manager, Hollywood Slots.He says Saturday’s numbers beat their opening day record, thanks in part to festival crowds put off by rain. A Camaro giveaway helped, too.”It was nuts. Around the car drawing time we had around 31-hundred people on the gaming floor. It was a riot. It was a lot of fun. Everyone was well-behaved and they had a terrific time,” Johnson says.Crowds also made their way to other attractions in town, like the Maine Discovery Museum and the Bangor Mall.”It looked like Christmas,” says James Gerety, general manager, Bangor Mall. “Cars were parked out to the Ring Road. All the lots were full, the shopping center was absolutely jumping. So for us, it was fantastic.””We had over 400 that came through the door and it was pretty much a steady stream of people,” says Laurie Claverie, at the Maine Discovery Museum. “The rain had everything to do with it, I think, and the amount of people in town for the Folk Festival.”The rain has already provided a bit of a boost to these businesses this summer, but in a down economy they say the weekend numbers were welcomed.”Some of our merchants have posted significant increases. Although we don’t have the hard numbers yet, certainly they are commenting they had the best Saturday they’ve had in a long time,” Gerety says.”When it rains, it really draws people in here,” Johnson says, “and we kind of like the rain.”