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Slow night for businesses hoping to cash in on Mumford & Sons

St. Augustine (Alyana Gomez)
St. Augustine (Alyana Gomez)
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Updated: 9/14/2013 12:38 am
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- It's being called the biggest thing to happen to the nation's oldest city since Ponce de Leon.

Action News cameras cruised for hours Friday along what we know as the busiest streets in St. Augustine, to capture some of the Mumford & Sons madness.

However, what we found were empty roads and not a traffic jam in sight.

"The town is quite full but the roads feel like a lazy Sunday afternoon in September which is really neat. That's the design," said city manager John Regan.

Their plan clearly worked. Regan credits the 60 shuttle buses running on six different routes.

"We have 500 lots, we're wide open and we're only two blocks from the actual event," said local George Vrban.

Vrban is a coach at a local Catholic school, who was hoping to raise money for the school by selling parking spots. But no one was biting Friday night.

He says he hasn't seen the city this dead in a long time. He, along with others, blame the publicity.

We asked a local business owner if she thought the hype of this event scared away all the locals. Her response was, "Absolutely."

Lorna MacDonald owns the Raintree Restaurant on San Marco Street and says she sent half of her staff home.

"We were prepared, which we have to be, so we're doing what we can do but we'd love to be busy. We've got lots of empty seats," said MacDonald.

She hopes those empty seats fill up with hungry customers on Saturday.

St. Augustine police say during day 1 of the event, there were 3 heat-related incidents, no arrests, and close to 14,000 people in attendance.

Authorities want to remind people to drink plenty of water on Saturday.
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