His funeral was an <attraction>

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Quote: Barbara met the mayor coming the other way, too late, carrying a wreath with a purple ribbon on which was written, in gold, “From the Municipality—Sincere Respects.” Waiting for delivery of the wreath had made him tardy. …
“His funeral was an attraction,” said Mr. Cranefield.

Question: How to understand it when a funeral was said of as “an attraction”?

Background: It was after Alec’s funeral. Barbara, his wife returned with all the other family members and friends on their way to a party afterwards. Mr. Cranefield, Alec and Barbara’s neighbor, might be saying this to anyone nearby, not necessarily to the mayor. Actually what was omitted in the suspension points was a remark from another neighbor, Mrs. Massie, who also challenged Mr. Cranefield’s statement in the following text.

Source: The Remission, by Mavis Gallant, a short story from her collection ‘Paris Stories’, which you can find in Google Books by the title Paris Stories. (Paragraph 1 from bottom, Page 232)

Thanks to whoever can help!
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