While we have plenty of activities that occur prior to Boilermaker Weekend (Road Runner Mile, Youth Olympics, Committee Run, and the National Anthem Contest) the majority of our efforts are built around three days. Think of it as a three act play.
Act I- Friday at MVCC
The morning is traditionally set up day for the vendors with the official opening of the Expo at noon.
While we had put out numerous announcements via the local media, social media, and email blasts I was still concerned about participants showing up as Masonic Care Community looking for the Expo. We put together a series of ground signs directing people (hopefully) past Masonic and down the street towards MVCC.
While the Expo officially opens at noon we parents arrive up to an hour early to sign their kid’s up for the Utica National Kid’s Run which takes place on Saturday morning. The Utica National team handled the registration with military efficiency getting 1,600 children registered in roughly three hours.
At the opening of the Expo we traditionally see a surge of humanity taking advantage of their lunch hour to pick up their stuff.
There are four entrances to MVCC, two off Sherman and two off Armory Drive; it became clear that the majority of our guests thought there was only one- welcome to the traffic jam.
The afternoon was simply stifling; my car registered an internal temperature of 102. Entering the Jorgensen Center one was welcomed with the cool touch of air conditioning across my face. Oh yeah, that’s why we moved!
The flow of the Expo felt comfortable and I surmise people hung around a bit more than usual due to the controlled temperature.
Stephen Baldwin was in attendance to support his Mom’s Breast Cancer foundation. We spoke for about fifteen minutes and I found him to be a pretty normal guy from a very high profile family.
That evening we had the Volunteer Party with over 2,500 of our 5,000+ volunteers in attendance. Guess who cooked the food- members of the Masonic Care Community! I was incredibly proud of the Masonic bunch who in spite of no longer hosting the Expo still wanted to be involved. The fireworks display began as I left for the parking lot and an early morning on Saturday.
Day one was done.