Most Challenging Nights of the Year

Captain’s Log   5,951

It’s that time again – when the largest holiday festival in my city kicks off at 3:00 this afternoon.  Gads.  Every year it gets worser and worser.  Our facilities are open to the public free of charge from 5:00 – 9:00 PM both Friday and Saturday nights.  It doesn’t sound like much until you consider the number of folks going through.  One year it rained and everybody came inside to stay dry.  That was year we had 7,000 people each night.  It’s a matter of controlling the crowds and making sure they leave promptly.  We also have to make sure they don’t bring in strollers (too crowded) or food.  We are the snack police.

This is what the media presents to get people to think this is a lovely experience.


Oh how pretty!  In theory, that is true.


What is set up right outside our door.  Yup.  Cheap rides and despicable carnies.  One of my staff was catcalled whilst walking toward the building yesterday.  I intend to let the committee know this happens ALL the time.  I am tired of it.  Beyond tired of it.  Time to make a little more noise in this one.

DN Santa

We also have a Santa.  This guy did it for years.  Santa sits in an old car and the kids climb into the front seat to “drive” Santa and the presents.  We charge a $2 “donation” and hope nobody pees or pukes.  We have a fair amount of screaming, but with hundreds of people milling about, nobody really even hears those terrified kids.  We also own the Santa suit.  Best investment we ever made.  $150 for the suit OR we could rent it every year for $80.  Duh!

So we suck it up and do it.  We have about 15 volunteers coming tonight.  That is essential.  No way we can do it without their help.  Same is true for tomorrow night.

This is how I felt this morning when I posted this Bitstrip of our office manager and myself getting ready to tackle the hordes.

faye and poolie dec

That’s really how it feels for us.  It takes a lot of preparation.  We spend a ton of money and have absolutely ZERO revenue (except for Santa) for three days.  We were closed yesterday because of the carnival setting up just a few feet from our front doors.

Time to start girding my loins.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

14 responses to “Most Challenging Nights of the Year

  1. Oh, misery, I can’t find my red hat. Oh, poor me.
    We are loin girded here except for the red hat.

  2. Susanna

    I was there the year it rained and it was pandemonium. People were pushing and shoving to get into exhibits and out of the rain. There was not sufficient lighting and it was dark walking around the place. It rained another year when I was volunteering for animal rights and I stood out in the rain with a bill against factory farming. I am over December Nights.

  3. poundheadhere

    You have my heartfelt sympathy. Wish I could buy you a bottle of rum once it’s over, you’re gonna need it.

  4. goatbarnwitch

    Weird how the winter holiday season has become a manic dash to spend money and “make memories” People need to learn to relax and do some contemplation during the dark of the year IMHO

  5. Patty O'

    Query: What does the Fire Marshal say is the Maximum allowable capacity on your museum? You would always tell people at the front they cannot be admitted until some people leave. That would slow them down a bit. Sorry about the sleazy carnies. Just like the general public, some are nice and some are pigs. Signed: Survivor of many Oktoberfests, which is your crowds plus alcohol…

  6. bholles

    I am sure you will be glad when it is over.

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