In case you were not aware the same candles are duplicated each year.The workmanship may differ and no candle can win 2 years in a row.
Last year I got a last minute request to go and was amazed at the number of vacancies in town > It used to be fully booked months before the festival. One hotelier told me thing had beed falling off for the past couple years. When you start a parade nearly 2 hours late it does have a tendency to affect the tourist numbers.
If you go see the candles around the park the evening before the parade is always enjoyable, and not as hot as mid-day parades.
Also go to the wats and see them being made. It looks like lace made out of wax. The following photos are from Wat Burapha