Attendance motivations behind the Missouri Chestnut Roast festival
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Festivals attract visitors with different types of motivations which are associated with a festival's theme. The Missouri Chestnut Roast festival combines recreational and educational activities to promote agroforestry, chestnuts and other agricultural specialty products. The objective of this study was to identify the motivations behind attendance at the Missouri Chestnut Roast festival given its unique theme. It also identified different socio-economic attributes, levels of chestnut consumption and event behavior associated with different motivations. Intercept interviews were carried out on-site. The survey queried 12 attendance motivations, levels of chestnut awareness (i.e., consumption, cooking), festival behavior, and socio-demographics. A total of 524 responses were collected. Statistical tests included principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation and multiple linear regressions. The most important motivations drawing attendance to the Chestnut Roast festival were: enjoying a day out; the uniqueness of the festival; and tasting chestnuts and other Missouri specialty products. Factor analysis of the attendance motivations produced three motivational dimensions: (D1) Fun and Entertainment related to the types and variety of recreation and entertainment activities offered at Chestnut Roast; (D2) Theme Identity associated with the chestnut thematic; and (D3) Educational Experience associated with the educational offerings of this festival. Multiple linear regressions show that demographic characteristics and festival behavior are associated with the three motivational dimensions identified (D1; D2; and D3). However, frequency of chestnut consumption is not associated with any motivational dimension. Study results suggest important implications for Chestnut Roast festival organizers. Advertising efforts (e.g., promotional material) and festival offerings (e.g., recreational activities; educational sessions) should consider all three identified motivational dimensions to ensure that the Chestnut Roast festival attracts a diverse set of visitors driven by different motivations.