WORLD'S Greatest PubFest organiser Brendan Heit has confirmed 1,629 passports were tallied for the Guinness record, about half of the 3500 sold.
He said passports were still hanging around patrons' necks as they enjoyed their drinks as others were handing theirs in at the 6pm finish time yesterday.
While it was a disappointing outcome for the publicans involved in organising the event, Mr Heit said it was a good learning curve to help break the record next year - it sits unchallenged at 4885, set by Kansas City in 2013.
But getting patrons to submit their stamped passports is not the only problem to be faced; organisers have been left scratching their heads as to how to make sure all pub-crawlers have a passport in the first place.
Mr Heit said staff at his pub, the Criterion Hotel, were serving drinks to revellers dressed in red and gory costumes who didn't have a card to stamp.
It was a similar story at other inner-city PubFest venues, with those without a passport unable to catch a shuttle bus ride to the participating outlying pubs.
"A lot of people were doing the crawl without buying a card," he said.
"The card makes sure the people who go to pub crawl go to every single venue, as we'd rather all the hotels benefit from it," he said.
Committee secretary Maria Carkagis said the lack of stamped passports let those who were going for the record down.
"There were a large number of people who tried really hard to get to all of the pubs," she said.
Passports needed to have ten or more destinations stamped off to be counted, with all 13 venues for entry into the $5000 cash prize draw.
A "RED Army" of revellers turned out for the World's Greatest PubFest on Sunday, with early estimates showing about 3000 people took part.
Caboolture's Sharon McMillan, who visited with her daughter Jennifer, has come to Maryborough every year for the past seven years.
She said she stumbled upon the Heritage City pub crawl in 2009 and has been hooked ever since.
"Usually I come with my husband and guests from overseas," she said.
Amy Mayer, who dressed up as "Horrific Little Red Riding Hood" said she never missed PubFest.
"We put hours into our costumes," Amy said.
"It's just such a fun event - we love it and we never miss it."
But the turnout wasn't large enough to break the Guinness world record set by Kansas City in 2013, which was 4885 pub crawlers.
Official numbers were still being tallied last night, but organisers believe this year's PubFest attracted smaller numbers than needed.
The Aussie Hotel's Tony Jones, who has served drinks to revellers at every PubFest since its first staging in 2005, said crowd numbers at his venue were down by about 20% compared to last year's crowd of 2000.
"Everyone I have spoken to said it wasn't as busy as last year, even the patrons themselves," he said.
Despite the down-turn, first-time organiser Brendan Heit said he and the other publicans who helped to put on the event, would get the wheels in motion for a bigger and better PubFest next year.
"I feel confident about planning next year's now, it is going to be huge," he said.
This was the first time PubFest was planned without help from the Fraser Coast Regional Council or Fraser Coast Opportunities.
Mr Heit said the crowd was exceptionally well behaved with some great costumes worn on the day.
Last year's best dressed winner Pam Greenhalgh, who then went as Disney villain Maleficent, also won this year with her horror-inspired gear.