Pershingpalooza 2004

Well, the event is over. And what an event it was. The second annual “Pershingpalooza”.

The backyard set up

We began preparations early in the week with set up. Matt Osborne and his team were ready to roll for tables and chairs. Mrs. Strodtbeck was coming from GR to bring 500 cookies. Herself. The band was ready. The food was ready. Invitations were made. RSVPs were coming in at the last minute. And the event ensued.

John and I set up the tent on Thursday night. We finalized things on Friday, and had some breakdowns on Saturday afternoon. The middle kept falling in, so Brian Kono did a cool fix on the interior supports to make the tent ready for a party.

Rachel was one of the many getting their faces painted thanks to Pat’s cell group

The core group of leaders arrived early. Then guests arrived not too much after that. We had a welcome table where Mick and I handed out name tags and helped people feel at home. Kelly Mayotte was our emcee, and did a great job of leading activities and making people feel comfortable. Katy Cole, Danny, and Gerrilee Lacy came for the kids tent. And Pat’s cell group did face painting. The band played, despite Corey showing up late for drums and Aaron almost not showing up at all. John did an awesome job leading the band. They were tight and people remarked how great they sounded.

The house band brought down the house

We had an incredible day. The kids ran all over the place and had lots of fun. There was a great mix of neighbors and friends. And the way we organized things made the day move just right. We had time to hang out with our neighbors and get to know them. They were also spending time getting to know eachother. It was really cool. We played some fun games too. We did a table trivia group game that was fun. And we also did a couple of rounds of “Chubby Bunny”. A kid round and an adult round. We then did “Tuff Stuff”. A round for kids and adults. The game: Put as many clothespins on someone’s face in 1 minute. The catch? Has to be above the neck and can’t clip to the hair.

Gavin was our “Tuff Stuff” winner

We had a ton of food to eat thanks to everyone bringing a dish to pass. And as the games finished up, we headed to the bonfire for s’mores and s’more live music. People stayed to hang out. It was really cool. Some of the older neighbors decided to leave earlier. It was really a joy to have such a good mix of young and old. One of the ladies brought a picture of the neighborhood kids that was taken in the 1940’s. Some of the people that live here have raised their families since the 1930’s in our neighborhood. It was a really special time.

Last year we had about 175 people and chaos. This year we had about 100 and awesomeness. It was a laid back time. Lots of laughter, networking, and just hanging out together. Getting to know the people we live with. We couldn’t have done it without John and Lissa who stayed late that night as we reflected on the event. Neighbors hanging out with neighbors. Chances for us to rub shoulders with the people we live by. And opportunity to connect with them beyond the event. We were tired that night. But it was a good tired.






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