Enjoy GRAND Magazine

for grandparents & those who love them

How to Really Enjoy and Stay Cool for Summer Events

Maria King_GrandMagazineBy Maria King – Grandmother extraordinare, founder and president of EventCrazy.com

Can someone else say it’s hot outside? It’s been about 3 minutes since I said it last and quite frankly, I am getting sick of the sound of my own voice. (a rare occasion indeed) It really has been hard to think of anything else these past few weeks. So with everyone heading outdoors for events in this heat, I thought a survival list would be a good idea. This is not only important information because I compiled it (cough), but because it helps your event experience to be an enjoyable, safe occurrence. In over 20 years of event attendance, I have seen and done it all, both good and bad. I am hoping that my “learning experiences” (I could call them mistakes but I really prefer experiences, lol) can be of help to you as you head out. Please remember that these assume that you will know not to forget your tickets, that you will be careful about keeping an eye on your children, you will be vigilant about protection of your property, etc. This list is just some things that you might not have thought about until one of them has a negative effect on your day and then it’s too late.Blog_142_Tips for summer events

  • Plan ahead. Some of your very best planning takes place before you leave home and can save you stress later at the event.
  •  It is helpful to call ahead to verify that the event is taking place if you are traveling a long distance. A lot can change so it is important to verify. (remember my experience at the AT&T golf event last year). Sometimes the weather can be vastly different from where you are to where you are going.
  •  In major events, it is always best to check with the local police department for any road closures or route changes. That is common practice at major events for better traffic flow.
  •   Make sure to investigate where to park for possible shuttle services if necessary or possible ingress and egress for on-premise parking options.
  •  Have fully charged cel phones and be aware of everyone in your party’s phone number.
  • Dress in layers because all day events can deliver many different weather scenarios.
  • Wear sunscreen to the event and bring sunscreen with you to re-apply during the day. Many so called “tough guys” will resist this so you simply offer to take them to the emergency room when they get sun stroke later.
  •  With new security measures for events, post Boston Marathon, it is best to pack carry-in items in clear bags. Be sure to check what items can be brought in before you arrive at the gate so you do not have to make a trek back to the car to store banned items.
  •  Always pack water even if you can buy it onsite. It is not only a good idea, it is a necessity to have enough hydration on hand in the hot, summer outdoors.
  •  Pay attention, upon your arrival, to the location of your parking place. Many people, well maybe not many, but I am usually too busy talking to pay attention to where we park. That can waste valuable time and be dangerous when hunting for your car in a severe weather situation. Also, many times if evacuation is necessary, you need to immediately proceed to your vehicle. That’s why everyone needs to be clear about the location.
  •  Make sure that you have a prearranged meeting place inside the event as well. It can serve an important purpose in case you get unexpectedly separated or need to regroup.  Information booths make great meet-up places. This is a “safe-place” sort of thing and very important especially with children.
  •  Let everyone know to pay attention to announcements at the event. Follow any instructions. Every event has a public address system to keep you safe and informed but it only works if you listen.

This week I offer up a serving of the biggest of the biggest summer events going on around the US. Armed with your list remember that events can supply a lifetime of memories bonding friends, parents, children and anyone who joins you, in a common experience. Following these tips will at least help to make sure that they are good memories. So get out and have some fun. But remember, “It’s hot out!” Wait, was it my turn to say that?

EAA Air Venture

Jul 29, 2013 – Aug 04, 2013

Wittman Airport Oshkosh, WI54906

For seven days, the aviation world descends on Oshkosh to create the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. Nearly every aspect of flight is represented in one way or another — from ultralights to the heavy iron of the Warbirds, AirVenture has it all. Exhibitors showing off the latest aviation innovations, informative forums presented by industry leaders and hands-on workshops compliment the variety of AirVenture activities. Air show includes 600 exhibitors and over 12,000 airplanes of every type, including homebuilts, antiques, warbirds, aerobatics, rotorcraft and floatplanes. More than 500 aviation seminars, workshops and forums, special evening programs and daily air shows.
830,000 Attendees

 Saint Ann’s Italian Street Festival

Jul 24, 2013 – Jul 28, 2013

Church of Saint Ann’s Hoboken, NJ07030

Since 1911, One of the most well known and beloved Italian festivals in the U.S. Rich in history and tradition, people travel from great distance to attend this celebration. Featuring 60+ vendors, entertainment, arts and crafts, games and a procession through the streets of Hoboken on Saturday. This is a really great festival in the New York area with Italian food specialty items galore.
125,000 Attendees

Oswego Harborfest

Jul 25, 2013 – Jul 28, 2013

Waterfront Parks and Fort Ontario Oswego, NY13126

Since 1978. New YorkState’s Premier Admission-Free Festival, gets underway on Thursday night July 25, 2013. The traditional opening ceremonies will again take place on the NRG Oswego Harbor Power “Lakeview Stage” in BreitbeckPark. A juried arts and crafts, antique and classic boats, regatta, 5k run/walk, civil war encampment, cruises, free entertainment on 7 stages and fireworks.
300,000 Attendees

 Bele Chere Festival

Jul 26, 2013 – Jul 28, 2013

Downtown Asheville Asheville, NC28801

Since 1973, this event has more than 600 exhibitors featuring activities with food, music, arts and crafts, entertainment and community events. This is a dynamite event.
350,000 Attendees

 Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival

Jul 26, 2013 – Aug 04, 2013

Waterfront Stadium/Escanaba Park Grand Haven, MI49417

Since 1924, festival week is filled with great family-type entertainment including a family parade, quilt show, Coast Guard run, kid’s parade, Coast Guard waterball tournament, Venetian boat parade, parade of ships, ship tours, musical entertainment, community picnic, huge arts and crafts show, carnival, spectacular fireworks show and much, much more. Takes place at various locations. Some events are free and some there is an admission charge.
350,000+ Attendees

 Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

Jul 26, 2013 – Jul 28, 2013

Solberg Airport White House Station, NJ08889

Since 1983. The Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America and is the premiere family entertainment attraction in New Jersey. It holds the dual distinction of being a recipient of The New Jersey Governor’s Award for Best Special Event, as well as the American Bus Association’s designation as a Top 100 Festival in North America. Held annually at SolbergAirport in Readington, NJ, the festival truly has something for everyone! From twice daily mass ascensions of over 100 special shape and sport hot air balloons, to headlining concerts, non-stop family entertainment, hundreds of crafters and vendors, great food, fireworks, a balloon glow, a 5k run and more, the festival is jam-packed with stuff to do.
150,000 Attendees

 National Balloon Classic

Jul 26, 2013 – Aug 03, 2013

Memorial Balloon Field Indianola, IA50125

Since 1969, Watch up to 100 balloons fly morning through evening, 5K road race, pancake and omlet breakfast, balloon rides, bathtub races, car and truck show, craft show, block party, nite glo extravaganza, parade, musical entertainment, fireworks and more. Takes place at various locations.
80,000 Attendees

 W.C. Handy Music Festival

Jul 19, 2013 – Jul 28, 2013

McFarland Park Florence, AL35630

Since 1983, week long jazz and blues music festival, as a tribute to native born W.C. Handy. features over 200 events including, 5K run, century bike ride, musical entertainment, sand Volleyball tournament, fun run and walk, men’s tennis round-robin, senior events, car and truck show, street strut and parade, food, block party, riverside jazz, mall jazz and much, much more. Also takes place at various locations in the following cities: Tuscumbia, Muscle Shoals and Sheffield.
130,000 Attendees

 Cheyenne Frontier Days

Jul 19, 2013 – Jul 28, 2013

Frontier Park Cheyenne, WY82003

Since 1896, one of the world’s largest outdoor Western celebrations includes 9 pro rodeos, top country music entertainment, a world-class arts and crafts show, air show, 3 Western theme parades, Native American dancing, arts and cultural exhibits and free pancake feeds.
241,000 Attendees


Jul 03, 2013 – Aug 04, 2013

Downtown Seattle, WA98060

A series of over 30 different events that take place throughout the area. Events include an air show, water activities and races, milk carton derby, cultural and ethnic street festivals, parades, foot races and much more.
1,000,000 Attendees

 Chincoteague Island Pony Swim

Jul 24, 2013 – Jul 25, 2013

Memorial Park Chincoteague Island, VA23336

Since 1926. At “slack tide” on the last Wednesday before the last Thursday of every July, Chincoteague’s “Saltwater Cowboys” herd the wild Chincoteague ponies across the Assateague Channel to move them from Assateague Island to neighboring ChincoteagueIsland. After the swim, the ponies “parade” to the carnival grounds where the foals are auctioned on the last Thursday of July. And then on Friday, the adult ponies will make the return swim to Assateague Island where they will live in the wild for another year. Join us for the World Famous Pony Round Up and Swim. The ONLY parking at Memorial Park, however, is designated for handicap use. All other folks coming in just for the day are encouraged to go to ChincoteagueCombinedSchool (4586 Main St.Chincoteague Island, VA23336) and catch the free shuttle. There is also a handicap accessible bus for your convenience.

logo_gplusMaria can be reached directly at eventsblog@eventcrazy.com or @eventcrazy on Twitter or  visit her website at www.eventcrazy.com

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Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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