I wasn't really sure what to expect going into this, the anticipation of meeting new people, setting up tables, displays, and lights... and just wanting everything to go well so that everyone had a great time, was really hitting me hard. I was determined to shake off the anxiety and try to do my best to help Ryan and make sure things went well, so I just had to suck it up and act like I knew what I was doing.
Leading a tour of Austin in lieu of the kickball game that was canceled due to the random rain that showed up was nerve wracking, but ended up being lots of fun. I enjoyed talking to folks about some of the awesome spots around our city and a few history lessons in buildings that had burned, and had been attempted to be burned down, I guess not everyone was a fan of Rick Perry, haha. Being treated to ice cream by our Famous Pezhead, Phyllis Oreck, was the icing on the cake of that adventure! If you're ever in Austin, be sure to stop at Amy's Ice Creams and treat yo' self.
The truck race event was probably one of my favorites, I'm a total sucker for seeing people utilize their creativity, and boy some of those trucks were amazing! My personal favorite was Randy's Mad-Max-esque truck; who wouldn't appreciate a pal head with a mohawk and blood soaked thumbtacks? It was fun watching the unexpected trucks take the lead and seeing poor Jennifer Sinicrope on constant pit-crew duty for all of her sons creations!
I had heard that Mrs. Orozco won the accolade for "Most Competitive" at last years ATX Gathering- but I got to witness it! She was out to get that Blue Duck Award, I saw her popping in and asking Ryan multiple times trying to figure it out, so she totally deserved to get it. If you weren't aware of it, the Blue Duck Award was a prize for finding a variation on or in your gathering bag. Only one bag had the logo embroidered on the opposite side, and seeing how Ryan is a fan of variations, why not have a prize for someone who had the eye to find one themselves!
Speaking of Austin, I want to thank all of the local businesses that we reached out to and were gracious enough to help. Austin Eastciders donated a generous amount of cider to fuel our courage for singing on stage, and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did! Local bakery Sugar Mama's was kind enough to supply sugary treats for our public show- and they didn't last long. Sugar Mama's was the winner of the Weird Al contest on Cupcake Wars, so if you had a chance to try them, you can say you've tried some pretty famous sweets! We are especially thankful to the ATX Free Art Friday crew, for helping promote our event and encourage their artist to do Pez-themed drops. It was great to see all the creations that came of it. The sculpture that Daddy Otis made was way beyond what I could have ever expected. I wish I had the funds to bid on it, but It went to a very appropriate home with Travis Clifford and was one of the highest items on our auction block!
All in all, it was a really fantastic experience. I tried my best to hug, shake hands, and introduce myself to everyone, but there was so many people I'm sure I missed some. Hopefully we'll see you all again next year for ATX Pez Part 3!