Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Santa Saturday 2006 report

This past Saturday I spent the day in New Hope PA at Santa Saturday, a fundraising leather event that's held each Saturday following Thanksgiving. It's organized by the Bucks MC. The last time I went back in 2003 it was held at the Cartwheel, which was burned down in early 2005. Last year's Santa Sanurday was held at the smaller Raven (which I had to miss because of a nasty cold), which got surprising good reviews; reports were that it wasn't as crowded as it was expected to be.

I drove into New Hope at 11:15am and parked in the lot of the nearby fire station and walked to the Raven, which a crowd was already starting to gather for its noon opening. The doors wound up opening at ten minute of tweleve and we were let in. I was very impressed with how the place was set up. A huge tent was set up over the pool area, and there were some portable heaters (though the weather that day was pretty sunny and warm) and there was a big platform covering the pool itself. It looked way different than when I would see the place during the summer.

I wound up having a great time there. There was a stage where there items being auctioned off and a few performers, a lot of them drag performers. There was a bear dressed up as Santa which you can get your picture taken with. Saw several members from the Philadelphians MC there, including my follow pledgemates Marc and Ron. Quite a few friends and acquaintances there as well. The area did get crowded around 3-4pm but the crowd wasn't as oppressive as it had been at the Cartwheel back in 2003.

Around 4:30-5 pm the local police came in nand said that there were some complaints that it was too noisy, so the crowd to be told (several times) to quiet down (they threatened that it would be shut down if it didn't) and the sound to the stage area had to be turned down. The turndown in volume would affect the auction; the bids to the items that were auctioned off after it tended to be lower than the ones before it since the auctioneer couldn't be heard as well as before.

My only complaint was that no one seemed to know when the drawing for the 50/50 raffle would be held. I asked the guys who sold me some 50/50 tickets and they said that they didn't know the exact time. I wound up staying near the stage for an hour and a half waiting for the winning numbers to be called out. The drawing went on during one of the times when I had to leave the tent area to go to the men's room (which was a bit of a wait). I probably didn't win it anyway but still I wish that the staff had a better idea when it would go on.

By the time the event wound down around 6pm, I was starting to get tired and a bit chilly, so I decided to walk back to my car and drive home. I listened to my Santa Saturday mix-CD and and Liza Minnelli's Results on the drive back and I picked up a chicken sandwich at the local convenience store for dinner. Overall I had a great time and I look forward to the next Santa Saturday.

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