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Crowds measured by what they leave behind

Attendance at Wausau Balloon & Rib Fest estimated through portable toilets

9:05 PM, Jul. 13, 2013
About 80 portable toilets serve the crowds that flock to the Wausau Balloon & Rib Fest. The number of toilets, multiplied by the number of times they are emptied, helps event officials determine how many people attend the event.
About 80 portable toilets serve the crowds that flock to the Wausau Balloon & Rib Fest. The number of toilets, multiplied by the number of times they are emptied, helps event officials determine how many people attend the event.
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No one really knows how many people attend the Wausau Balloon & Rib Fest, one of Wausau's iconic and most popular summer events.

"A lot" is all anybody can say with certainty. If the weather is good, throngs of people jam elbow to elbow into the large open field of the Wausau Downtown Airport to watch the Saturday evening balloon glow and the fireworks show that follows. Cars line the streets in the neighborhood, and folks outside the airport fence sit on curbs, on lawn chairs, in the front yards of homes and on blankets in nearby parks.

But it's important to have some idea of how many people attend the ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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