Fun Days Committee update from Dec. 2, 2015

As I first reported in August, citizens and city staff have been meeting to discuss ways to add a little more juice to Fircrest Fun Days. The Fircrest Fun Days Committee held its third meeting on Dec. 2 at the Rec Center. Given my ability to type a bazillion words a minute, I agreed to take notes and produce a report. (Thank my parents for that 10th-grade typing class.)

Eight people attended the meeting and discussed the following topics and actions:

Overall goals: more attendees, more vendors, a livelier vibe, cut down on the “dead times” during the day

Budget: The City Council added another $2,500 for 2016, so our total budget from the city is $10,000.

Sponsors: We can increase the budget if we attract sponsor businesses and organizations. We gave Parks Director Jeff Grover some ideas for developing sponsorship packages that offer benefits beyond the weekend, such as displaying their corporate banners in the gym and/or at the pool for various lengths of time, based on the level of sponsorship. He’s going to put some packages together.

Foot traffic: With the Friday night spaghetti feed by the Kiwanis Club, the swim meet on Saturday morning, the festival all day, and then the big fireworks show at night, the city estimates about 3,000 people visit during the weekend (with about half attending the fireworks show).

Vendors: We’d like more things to do, more crafts and goods, more entertainment, and a few more food vendors. It was noted that too many food vendors at a site can cause them to lose money and have a bad experience. We have to find the right balance. Also, there are so many festivals and events around the county throughout the summer that it can be tough to attract them away from other options. Jeff also will work on incentive offers for participants of the Holiday Bazaar and the Spring Craft Fair. We also talked about seeing if Pint Defiance, Wingman, Gig Harbor Brewing or another local brewery would like to host a beer garden (now that it’s legal).

Entertainment: Ideas floated at the meeting include inviting a performance by Fircrest’s Image Studio of Dance, the Tacoma Musical Playhouse or other theater groups, the Blues Brothers tribute band, a pie eating contest, Hunter’s friend who juggles flaming torches, Elisabeth’s friend who is a comedian, a square dance or some other type of dance (indoors or outdoors), the World’s Shortest Triathalon (swim in the pool, ride a tricycle around the park, and a short run), a giant water balloon fight (I admit it, this is my idea…), a gigantic community Bunko or Bingo game, a night swim at the pool, pony rides, inflatable bouncy structures. Another option is to see if Click! or another sponsor will host a movie-in the-park on Friday night.

We talked about branding the entertainment in the style of the Major Bowes Amateur Radio Hour in honor of the investor who helped found Fircrest before going on to create one of the most popular radio programs of the mid 1900s.

Suggested run-of-show: After three meetings with lots of brainstorming and brownies, the group developed this working lineup for the 2-day event.

  • Friday night: Kiwanis Club’s spaghetti dinner, Bingo, a movie in the park (remember, it’s summer, so it doesn’t get dark until after 9), beer garden, night swim, plus the craft vendors and activities.
  • Saturday: Kiwanis Club’s pancake breakfast, swim meet (which drew hundreds of people this year), entertainment for kids during the day (dance performance, karaoke, Reptile Man, etc), water-oriented field-day activities in the afternoon, World’s Shortest Triathalon?, beer garden, fireworks at 9:30. We’d like to have some featured entertainment at 5 and 7 pm.

Next steps: We divided up the research and assignments regarding sponsor packages, movie-in-the-park options, beer garden sponsor, dance performance, Bingo possibilities, theater groups. Jeff plans to produce a 2-question survey to distribute this Sunday at the tree lighting ceremony as well as other events this winter so we can keep collecting community ideas.

The committee’s next meeting is 7 pm on Jan. 6. We’d love more help. Feel free to share any ideas on the Fun Days Committee Facebook page!

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