Shelbyville, TN – The Celebration today announced that attendance at the midpoint of the 11-day event is higher than in 2010 despite the economic downturn. During the first six days of 2010, 57,203 people attended and this year, 61,205 have attended.  There are also several nights this year that have surpassed attendance in 2011, including the paid attendance for the two premier weekend nights that are up almost 7%. Celebration officials predict overall event attendance rate will be comparable to last year and surpass 2010.

“We are delighted with the excitement surrounding the 74th annual Celebration. The event raises money for several local charities and we couldn’t be more pleased with the numbers we are seeing,” said Doyle Meadows, Celebration CEO. “We are thankful to all those who have attended and will do so in the coming nights as this event is a significant contributor to the Middle Tennessee economy.”

The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is the world’s largest and most prestigious event celebrating the Tennessee Walking Horse. For over 70 years, the Celebration has crowned world champions and left an indelible mark on the community that is both economic and civic. In addition to the $38 million impact on Middle Tennessee’s economy, the Celebration raises over $200,000 for local charities. The Celebration’s highest priority is placed on the safety of the horses and the Celebration is proud to lead the way in safety reforms by imposing the most stringent inspection measures and strictest penalties of any Tennessee Walking Horse event.