This past weekend was an annual event for one of our car clubs, a picnic to welcome new members to the club. My Sweet Babboo and I were in charge of the event, and it has been several months in the planning. It is a potluck event, with the club providing the venue and the fried chicken. After a week of record heat, a cool front came through the night before the event, bringing lower temperatures and drying out the humidity to create a lovely day. Temps were in the low 80s, with low humidity, and a breeze that at times was a bit too much for the tablecloths.
It all began that morning, with a small group of members gathering to set up the tables and chairs that had been rented. Yes, we had to do that work ourselves. We arranged the tables, set up 128 chairs, and decided to wait on the tablecloths until just before the event due to the gusty winds.
I made centerpieces with star sprays and German flags as our theme. These were easy to make. I used the star sprays from the dollar store, opened up the foil at the base and hot glued the German flag in. Then I replaced the foil and the little twist tie. I was disappointed that although I told the new members at every table that they could have the centerpieces, almost all were left behind. I tried to give them away to anyone at the end, and no one wanted one. One lady took a few that she said would be donated to a thrift store where she volunteered. Ah well. I thought they were fun, and kept one for our bookshelf. The rest are in a box and will appear at another event at some point.
We put gold tablecloths on the tables for seating, and red ones on the serving tables.
The buffet tables began to fill up with dishes and the aroma of good food.
The appetizer and drink tables were open from the start so people could graze and enjoy the cars. I was so busy, I almost didn’t get any photographs.
As I was running between the registration table, gathering food for the appetizer table, drinks and main buffet, welcoming new members as I spotted their special name tags, helping people find their table, refilling ice, and answering questions, I barely had a moment to run to the show field and get a few shots of the gorgeous cars on display.
But I did get a couple of nice photos of the lines of colorful cars.
I was the last one through the buffet line, but it didn’t matter as I only had time to eat a piece of chicken and few bites of sides, before I had to jump up again. I didn’t really have time to chat with the people we were sitting with, which was unfortunate as I wanted have some time with them. Then all too soon, and yet seemed like a long time, it was time to start cleaning up, breaking down all the tables and chairs, bagging up the trash, and collecting the things to go back home.
We spent over five hours at the show/picnic between set up, picnic and take down, not including the hour in the early part of the day to set up the tables, chairs and small tent. We came home exhausted. I didn’t realize that there would be so much back breaking work that we had to do on our own when I agreed to chair this event. I am very grateful that at least a dozen members, still present at the end of the event, helped us with the tables, chairs and trash at the end. I put out a survey to the participants, and frankly was both heartened and dismayed at the comments. People loved it and commented with lots of positive thoughts, or hated it and blamed me for things over which I had no control. There were 23 empty seats from last minute cancellations and no-shows, which meant 10 fewer dishes than planned and some tables half filled, and somehow that was my fault. Sheesh.
This was the final event of this year that I have any part of planning, organizing, or chairing. After this and the quilt show, I am ready to be just a worker bee at the next two events where I’ve agreed to help – a big MINI event in July, and perhaps one other event in September. For all else, the answer is “no, I can’t”, nope, no, not!! But all too soon, it will be time for the Mountain State Fair! Oh, my, it is always something!!