Sunday, May 14, 2017

Faire Weekend #1

Well, this has been one of the most eventful faire weekends I've ever seen.

Saturday was chilly and overcast with the constant threat of rain, but we had over 1400 people through the gate (a few years ago, 1400 was a record-setting day for us). About an hour before gates closed, a tree fell on power lines and caught fire, blocking our shuttle bus route and handicap parking lot access, as well as vehicular access to the site for vendors, who were starting to pack up for the night. Between the firetruck that solved the first part of the problem and the crew of linesmen who repaired the remaining damage, it was almost four hours of gawk-worthy non-renaissance entertainment for those of us who weren't going anywhere anyway.

Today's weather, while not biblical-level bad, was bad enough that we significantly lowered the entry fee, and when it became apparent that the rain wasn't going to clear, we closed the faire early. We had about 100 people through the gate, the last handful of whom showed up close enough to our early closing time that we let them in for free, because we're not going to charge people for half an hour of soggy, limited entertainment, especially when some of them had driven 3 hours to get to us. Because we were playing the whole thing by ear, there were lots of changes to the plan and sometimes different versions of the plan depending on which member of the management team we were talking to. At one point I had to grab one of the managers to approve a change for some of our shuttle busses that were getting stuck in the mud and making it worse. In the end, we made it work, and most of the patrons who came today said they were planning to come back another day, because what little they'd seen of the faire made them want to see more.

I am tremendously thankful for my faire family. After hearing that I hadn't slept Friday night due to not bringing enough blankets, and looking at the impending weather, one of my crewmembers offered me her guest room for the night. I'm glad I said yes -- her guest bed is just about the comfiest thing I've ever slept on, and it was blissful to get a solid night's sleep before dealing with today's craziness. Today, three of my guys stayed late to help me ferry stuff from my tent (which is staying on site all week) to my car, saving me half an hour of walking back and forth. One of them also made sure I had hot cocoa (by ordering it from our "faire moms," who keep volunteers supplied with snacks and beverages, before I even realized I wanted it) and a proper lunch (by choosing a large order of ribs for his own lunch instead of a small one, and holding the box of ribs in front of me until I took one) because he knew I was too busy and distracted to even think of taking a break to go get food.

I'm glad that I've had time to shower, unpack a bit, and unwind a lot tonight. Next Sunday won't be nearly so liesurely, but I'll worry about that later. This week I need to get my expired car inspection sticker brought up to date and make some poles for a new dining fly to replace the pop-up tent that died in a rainstorm last summer. And maybe relax a little, so I'm not so highly-strung next weekend. That'd be nice, too.

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