AUSTIN -- Saturday morning, families from Austin, the nation and many other countries all mingled together to enjoy what the city’s first ever F1 Fan Fest had to offer.
Elma Schoten and her family traveled from El Paso to Austin to attend F1 weekend.
“I have three kids and they've already enjoyed the cars, taking pictures of cars and getting their face painted,” Schoten said. “So I think it's been really great and geared to the children and the adults of course.”
Local food and t-shirt booths enjoyed brisk business. And as the sun set, excitement grew as thousands of F1 fans came ready to party.
“If it's like Montreal last year there should be lots going on,” said Nicolas Lazarus, visiting from Miami.
His friend Sean Emmett added, “Everyone's been really friendly and it's been well organized so far.”
As the crowds admire set after set of exotic wheels, wheels of a different kind are rolling through downtown. Pedicab companies have all their employees working the streets this weekend, hoping F1 fans will hand over some cold hard cash.
“It's kind of like a typical weekend ,” said pedicab driver Nick Balaile. “People wanted to get from a to b because it was so cold.”
Adam Finton with Red Devil Rides said he thinks business will pick up on Sunday, which is expected to be Fan Fest's busiest night.
“I pretty much equate it to supply and demand, when there's a lot of people taking rides you can charge more as long as you negotiate the price and they agree upon it,” Finton said. “Last night was a little disappointing from what we were expecting. I actually had one guy from Britain tell me he thought we were homeless gypsies.”
Fan Fest shuts down at 2 a.m. and will reopen at 10:30 Sunday morning. More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the event.