Now that my wool socks and rain boots have dried out, Blue White is officially over. This weekend was a perfect example of why live events can be fantastic or horrible, or both.
Friday, we had a great turn out for our carnival, dunk tank and live stage. We even surpassed last year’s numbers for our Wing Fest, despite it being the last Friday in Lent.
I had my own Gator to drive a max of 300 feet and a walkie-talkie, complete with in-ears, I was feeling pretty legit. I got to appear on our live radio and news coverage all night (and at 5 a.m.), which was a lot of fun. Our fireworks weren’t timed perfectly, but such is life. So far, the event was near perfect.
Then Saturday happened.
The rain started around 8 a.m. and didn’t stop until sundown. All of our sponsors backed out, leaving an empty row of tents, with the exception of Harmon Home Heaters, easily the most popular spot in the compound.
None of our dancing acts could perform on the soaked stage, the sound guys couldn’t uncover their speakers to play music, our sportscaster booth couldn’t be set up for fear of damage and our parade interstitials were dry-weather-only performers.
We made an attempt to open our Kids’ Tent, although only a few games could be brought out in the wind. We planned to have our pep rally on stage, until the roof of the stage was ripped off by wind, missing my car by inches. Our parade turned into a line of marching bands headed for the stadium. We held our autograph session in the stadium underneath the stands and our beloved, die-hard fans still came out.
The game itself became more of a contest of the best slip-and-slider than the top quarterback prospect. The downpour and resulting lack of fans didn’t make a great case to the visiting recruits, but most of them will be back in the fall, we hope. Thankfully, someone called the game after half-time and we booked it from the stadium to our cars in pursuit of a hot shower and a nap.
Despite the soaking clothes and disappointment of planning events for months only to see them get rained out, Blue White made me realize how much I love event operations and the spontaneous results that come with it.
So for now, that’s a wrap on Blue White Weekend. Time to start planning for the 2011 season, oh and find a full-time job.