Sunday, June 13, 2010

More Hoops than Hips

I dropped down to the Second Sunday Market in Ellicott City this morning. It was a beautiful late spring morning and I expected to have some trouble finding a parking space.

I didn’t. At 11:00 AM this morning there was plenty of parking and for the second time this weekend I wondered where everyone was. There weren’t enough hips to fill these hoops.

Yesterday, I took Peanut and her friend over to the Lake Fest in Columbia Town Center. We got there a little after four in the afternoon and easily found parking space close to the activities. Despite an afternoon line up that included the rock and roll sounds of Billy Coulter and the 16 member gospel brass percussion ensemble, The Sweet Heaven Kings, there crowd in the Town Center plaza could best be described as sparse.

It was the same story Friday night. Mama Wordbones and I decided to take a long shot and see if we could get an outside table at Tomato Palace for dinner around 7:00 PM. We understood that this was the opening night of Lake Fest our chances were slim at best. Much to our surprise we were told the wait was about 15 minutes.

While waiting for our table we strolled over the Lake Stage in time to catch the high energy Billy Woodward and the Senders. Since I’ve already used the word sparse to describe the Saturday afternoon attendance so this time I‘ll just say there was no line for the beer.

I have to admit to being more than a little surprised by the turnout at both of these HoCo events. The predicted thunderstorms never materialized and though it was a bit warm that that never kept people away from summer festivals before.

Could it be that these events have simply become stale or is it just that there was just too much else going on this weekend (graduation parties, weddings, etc.)?

8 comments:

Jennifer said...

Two reasons perhaps:

1. Yes, there are a lot of graduations, wedding, and school isn't quite out yet.

2. I did not even hear of Lake Fest until your blog. Maybe they need to amp up some advertising?

Sarah said...

We were out of town this weekend or else we probably would have gone. Beyond graduations and school not being out and all, competing with Honfest this weekend is also hard-- not sure if it had gone head-to-head like that before or not.

John G. Boyle said...

The word that came to my mind was "anemic."

We had a few baby-free hours on Sunday, so we decided to hit Clyde's before going to a movie. I had forgotten about the event, so when I saw the Lakefest signs I wondered if we might need to re-route to a less-crowded location. Just as WB experienced, there was no need.

Having planned and/or worked more than my fair share of events, I'm sure that the usual culprits of weather, PR, competition and excitement vs. staleness all played a part. But IMHO, the real problem is that since the lakefront isn't much of a destination as is, it's a tough place to "fill."

It's experiences like this that make me really look forward to the redevelopment of Town Center (even though my son will be 30 before it's done).

Tim said...

I was able to take my 3 year old out to enjoy a little ice cream and rock music Friday night and then the whole family got out in time to catch the parade and boat float on Saturday. By 1:30pm the crowd was starting to build but still not up to my fears (or expectation).

I think advertising was down this year...

PZGURU said...

Maybe the anemic crowds are because the performers aren't exactly what people are clammering to see?!?!?!
How is the low turnout at this even "proof" of a dying/dead town center and "proof" that the redevelopment plan is "necessary"????? IT'S NOT!!!

Anne said...

I missed it entirely! I guess I'm not as tuned in as I thought I was, because I didn't even realize it was this weekend until the weekend was nearly through.

JessieX said...

i was surprised myself by how "unaware" i was of the event. it was your blog post about the festival and the boat race that put the event back on my radar ... and there was even a band playing (eric lindell) that i wanted to see. i ditto john boyle on the "anemic" thing. even on saturday night when eric lindell was playing, the crowd was sparse.

KathyA said...

We attended on both Friday night and Saturday, but really learned of it by accident.