Saturday, October 14, 2006

First Annual BikeWalk Blues Fest

We pulled it off. Six weeks after conception, we held our first fundraising event, an outdoor blues concert. We had about a hundred people attending. That's fewer than we wanted, but a good start. I keep reminding everyone that Burning Man started with 20 people and a grudge. Not that we plan to set stuff on fire in the desert, I just mean that next year we can have a bigger event.

If anyone outside of Tallahassee ever reads this, you have to understand we have a town of 200,000 people and two large universities. One of them, FSU, usually has a nationally ranked football team. When they have a home game, the town turns inside out. When they don't have a game, that's when events happen. When my wife and I got engaged, we had to wait for the football schedule to be announced before we could set a date so we could be sure the hotels could accomodate our families.

This year, October 7 was the Saturday of the week that the Seminoles played on a Thursday night. Everyone planning an event knew that it was a weekend without a football game. That was the day that everybody had parties, bike rides, races, walk-a-thons, cleanups, meetings, speeches, concerts and everything else. A lot of our core constituencies had other events. A lot of our base was already committed. So when I look at 100 people at our first ever blues concert at a location people didn't know about on a very busy day when the local fish wrapper fails to give you a boost, I think two things. 1) that wasn't such a bad turnout, all things considered. 2) we're going to do it better next year.

Thanks to everyone who came out. Thanks especially to all of our local bike shops who have been very supportive of BikeWalk Network since the start. Sunshine Cycles, Joe's Bike Shop, The Great Bicycle Shop of Tallahassee, and University Cycles all helped out. Also some great local businesses: Dean's Photography Service; Dunn Chiropractic; Joe Mizirek & Associates; Joe Barnett, DDS; All Saints Café; Chris Lacher and Dewayne Carver. Thank you all for your support. Thanks to Ken Beatty for his stage, Ken Crawford for his logisitical support, Bogazedi for a rocking good time, and Veronika Jackson for her wonderful performance. Thanks to Adrien and his crew at the Progressive Center for setting up and providing food and drink.

Here are a few pictures of the event. Unfortunately, the pictures of the musicians and the crowd didn't turn out too well. I let some of the junior helpers do most of the photog work and they are still honing their skills. Which reminds me, major props to the dynamic duo, Jake and Zach Hunter. These kids are doers. Thanks to them.


Post a Comment

<< Home