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|Every time I get out in public here in Santa Cruz (which is hardly enough), every one I see who made it to our Fest (over 2,000 through out the day) talks about one of two things:
1- It's quality and how well it was produced or
2- They deliberate on the air show.
As for the former, I can't say THX enough to Greg Arrufat or his famous wife Mary Mccaslin who truly helped me pull one rabbit out of the hat after another. From getting us a professional high profile stage to working with the awesome talent we had procured in making sure their audio needs were met by the sound production company, one of the best in America, that Greg also got for us to Mary even serving as m/c on the duck pond stage and etc, etc, we couldn't help but produce a truly epic event.
Another shining star was Terry Pershall. His company, Post LeMond sponsored the valet bike parking area for our two wheel guests as well as the festival itself. And far more than being a main financial sponsor of our event, Terry helped to get everything from raffle prizes to walkie talkies to musical talent and he greatly assisted us with his own experience of having produced other benefits and festivals.
For those who brought kids, I've heard more than one report about someone or the other's children who were hypnotized by these two wheel dare devils. So much so, that I even listened to the story about one little boy who was so inspired by Perfection on Wheels that as soon as he got home he was busy trying to pop wheelies on his bike. A bike still outfitted with with training wheels!!
After the riders break I will discuss later, another local music veteran with a huge following, Richie Begin, played tunes from his masterful repertoire with fellow guitarist Paul Logan. The crowd that gathered to hear them, loved their music as well.
For me, the main stage is where all the action was. I looked out on an area the size of a football field filled with makeshift restaurants, booth vendors and people test riding many different types of bikes, from the high wheelers that Jim Langley had on display to trikes and two wheel
recumbents. Another one of our main sponsors, Family Cycling , looked busy as well. John Brown, who has been with the NBG since its inception and also helped me birth the idea of an interconnected two wheel America, looked pleased as people crowded around his amazing antique bike collection. Off in the distance, I saw two jump houses (supplied by Action Fun Jumps) filled with kids and our security volunteers in the bright green vests that coordinator Dona Million had procured for them from the local Granite Rock construction people. With the city's guidance, Dona had these volunteers positioned at strategic locations throughout the park as they kept things in order through out the day.
|Even the NBG booth was a busy one as Velda Solomon who had come down from Sacramento with her husband Mel, and son, Chris, was busy selling festival T-shirts and explaining the NBG vision with the incredible scrapbook she had made. I also saw people walking away with the handsome little NBG brochures she had created at the 11th hour for our event. Copies of the "Good Times" magazine feature were also on hand as besides our event being on the cover, they also served as our program guide. Also in the NBG booth I saw Gayle Michael and her son, Todd, also busily answering questions and exchanging materials with what looked like an incessant swarm of interest.
Here is what Gayle reported:
Master NBG graphic artist, Fred Piper, the man who created the NBG Fest logo and all of our promotional materials, had his booth behind ours. And not only
did he look busy but in the booth right behind his, Rita Benelle looked busy directing the efforts of all the kids that were busy coloring the mini NBG Fest posters Fred had created.
From the stage itself, after my general announcements, Ruby Rudman, of the Robin Anderson Big Band enchanted the crowd with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. Then it was Prince Lawsha when almost as suddenly the park had all the makings of a high fidelity concert hall worthy of a live recording. Prince, who left as soon as he was finished for a music tour of the south region of France commanded the immediate attention of all those present. It took just a few notes from his band, made up of much in demand musical artists who feel it an honor to get to play with the Prince, for their music to tell the audience that something special was about to occur; that all the performances ahead would all be paid stadium seating quality. People kept asking me why they'd never heard of these guys before. The answer: The only time the Prince has played in the US over the last couple of decades has been for the NBG; his last US performance was at our 2000 Lighthouse send off . This is so because, as he says, 'the US cannot afford him' and yet he is a strong believer in the NBG vision.
|Original Images and Sounds are Copyright © 2001 National Bicycle Greenway. All Rights Reserved.|