March 18, 2015
It’s Tent Season Again!
The calendar says that spring is coming this week… I’m beginning to suspect that the calendar is about as trustworthy as Punxsutawney Phil. For most of the past six weeks we been at or above average for temperate, and on 32 out of 40 days – you could see your and Phil’s shadow – what’s that about? Boston has sure had more than six weeks of winter, but we’ve barely had a week since his toothy prediction… that bites!
Well, at least in Sun Prairie, WI…
With the coming of spring, we move into some major outdoor time. The sun is hot, the weather is great, it’s time to BBQ, and we schedule most of our outdoor events between now and the first of November. More than a few of us having been waiting all winter to get out and enjoy the warmth.
Did you know that Travel+Leisure.com lists GJ as one of the “Coolest Desert Towns”? I don’t think that has much to do with the temperature! Cool is not how you describe a typical Grand Valley day in July. You could say that about our evenings, once the sun goes down it can get cool in multitudes of ways from one end of the valley to the other! But we love our sunshine! Another bit of online trivia… Tourism-Review.com has GJ as the seventh sunniest city in the USA. Those are just a couple of things that make the valley such a great place to live, to play and to vacation.
The weather in western Colorado is one of the reasons we like tents. Rain or shine we like the protection. And living in Colorado, we like to be mobile, there are so many places to go and so many things to see. Tents work in so many ways.
Tents have not changed much through history. Wikipedia defines a tent as:
A shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over, attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs. First used as portable homes by nomadic peoples, tents are now more often used for recreational camping and temporary shelters.
When we say tents haven’t changed much, we mean fundamentally there is still fabric being stretched to provide shelter. The tents we rent for events and weddings, come in a variety of sizes and can be configured for a wide range of needs. The basic idea behind a tent remains the same. You can imagine a hundred years ago a special event like a big wedding was taking place in town and no building was large enough to hold all the guests. The solution: Tents!
Sure, tents give you shelter from the elements, but they can be so much more. Tents create an atmosphere all their own. I wonder how many “tents” get put up inside a home with little kids who are bored on a rainy day. You’ve probably done it, moved the furniture around and draped them with all the blankets and sheets you could get. You crawl in, pile some pillows around, and voilà, it becomes a magical place.
I doubt that there are many people who don’t like tents. In in a modern culture, tents are more available than ever. They’re not just a relic from the dark ages. If you watch many of the classic old movies, especially westerns, you’ll see tents used during rodeos, in Indian villages, on safaris an expeditions, and of course the circus. And those are images we instantly recognize.
What would a circus be without the atmosphere of the “Big Top”? Now that Barnum Brother’s “Greatest Show on Earth” is removing elephants from all its shows after 145 years, the circus atmosphere is certain to change. Most of us have some sort of image in our mind of the elephants helping putting up the big tents. I still remember my first “big” tent experience. In the mid-60’s the Big John Strong circus came to Rangely, my home town. In a little, hot and dusty oil town, the circus coming to town was a really big thing. And watching them set up the “big top” and all the trappings that went with a traveling circus, was something a young boy couldn’t get enough of.
Where will tents be a hundred years from now? Probably not much different is my guess, just doing their thing… providing shelter from the elements while the guests inside enjoy the show.
March 9, 2015
Will You Be Wearin’ the Green?
“There are only two kinds of people in the world,” an old Irish saying goes… “The Irish and those who wish they were.”
But for 24 hours on St. Patrick’s Day, that saying is a pot o’ blarney. For most of us… we’ll all be Irish. We’ll be wearing green, drinking green beer, eating corned beef and cabbage… and wishing we could find that pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow. We be looking for leprechauns. As Mike Rowe sees it…
Saint Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig), is celebrated annually on March 17th, commemorating the death of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick.
On St. Patrick’s Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and/or green clothing or accessories (the “wearing of the green”). St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish.
The color green has been associated with Ireland since at least the 1640s. In the 1790s, green became associated with Irish nationalism when it was used by the United Irishmen who launched a rebellion in 1798 against British rule. The phrase “wearing of the green” comes from a song of the same name, which laments United Irishmen supporters being persecuted for wearing green. Not only that, but singing the song in public was punishable by hanging!
Part of the lyrics go:
I’ve heard a whisper of a land that lies beyond the sea
Where rich and poor stand equal in the light of Freedom’s day.
Ah, Erin, must we leave you, driven by a tyrant’s hand
Must we seek a mother’s blessing from a strange and distant land
Where the cruel cross of England shall never more be seen
And where, please God, we’ll live and die, still Wearing of the Green.
Trivia moment… Did you know that “The Wearing of the Green” is sung in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”? Gerald O’Hara is singing this tune while escorting his daughters to the barbecue at Twelve Oaks in Chapter 5. Here’s Judy Garland singing “The Wearing of the Green”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau – 36.9 million United States residents claim Irish ancestry, or more than eight times the entire population of Ireland today, which stands at 4.5 million. The number of Irish-Americans in the U.S. is the second largest among U.S. ethnic groups.
Chicago is famous for dyeing the Chicago River green on St. Patrick’s Day. In 1962, a pipe fitters union, with the permission of the mayor, poured green vegetable dye into the river. Each year only 40 pounds of dye are used, but it is enough to turn the river green for several hours.
According to the Friends of the Chicago River, more people are likely to view the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day than on any other day.
For dinner, millions of people will sit down to what they think is an authentic Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage. Only half of it is really Irish. Though cabbage has historically been a staple of the Irish diet, it was traditionally eaten with Irish bacon, not corned beef. Irish immigrants in America could not afford the bacon, so they substituted with corned beef, a cheaper alternative (picked up from Jewish immigrants).
Will, you be wearin’ the green come Saint Patrick’s Day? Forgot to wear green on St. Patty’s Day? Don’t be surprised if you get pinched. No surprise, it’s an entirely American. St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.
Now you know.
February 25, 2015
I Don’t Have to Own It
Do you know the “Toddler’s Rule of Ownership and Sharing”?
If I like it, it’s mine.
If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
If I saw it first, it’s mine.
If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
If it’s broken, it’s yours.
If it’s broken, but you are having fun playing with the pieces, it’s mine again.
If there is ANY doubt, it’s mine.
From childhood it seems that we have a predisposition to possess rather than share.
There are times where we choose between renting and owning. Some of the factors are financial, some are practical, and some deal with flexibility and freedom.
Suppose I need to put in a new backyard fence. To me it makes sense to rent a post-hole auger, for a number of reasons:
• Expense, I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for a tool I’m only going to use rarely, at best.
• Storage, I don’t have room to keep everything I could buy.
• Physically, there are cheaper tools I could use… but, the time, effort and blisters are an added cost I don’t want.
I ran into an individual last night who is planning an event at work. The company is hosting a large number of people for a party and a dinner. They have plenty of room, but not enough tables and chairs. They’re thinking about buying enough tables and chairs to have the event and just keep them. I told him there is another option, renting. He hadn’t even considered rentals. And what about all the other items they are going to need?
Perhaps the question on your mind now is — how do you figure out whether to rent or to buy? And what kind of things are we talking about exactly?
Quite a few people who have planned a wedding, a large event, or a big party, have found that rentals can be a huge asset.
Let’s just assume you’re planning a wedding. And you’ve come to the conclusion that you need to rent something for your wedding. Most weddings/receptions involve at least the following: tables, tablecloths (often called linens), napkins, chairs, plates, silverware, and glasses. Other fairly common items might include patio heaters, buffet tables, cocktail tables, centerpieces, runners, food and beverage service, portable bars, audio/visual equipment, and lighting. The list does go on.
Could you buy all these things? Sure. And some people do. They spend countless hours searching for the best prices, and for enough of the same item. But then you have to store them until the big day. Who’s going to wash them or iron them first? Who’s going to deliver them and set them up? And after it’s all over… who is going to pick them up? Wash them? Iron them? And now, what are you going to do with all of this stuff?
Here is how a recent bride put it: “I was determined to use the tables that my venue already had, because they were there, and the fact that the venue already had tables was one of the pluses for choosing it. But the tables were an odd size, and the trouble and cost I went through to find linens, which still didn’t fit properly and looked messy on the wedding day, was so not worth the few dollars saved on renting tables.”
By the way, cost isn’t always counted in dollars and cents, more often it is counted in headaches, stress and problems. That’s why Grand Events & Party Rentals exists… to be your event problem solver.
February 18, 2015
So, You Want to Have a Tent
She’s given him one big job.
Of course, he’s sat in on some conversations, and even been expected to write checks without complaining. See, he’s making plans for his daughter’s wedding and reception, it’s going to be in his backyard. Oh, the decorations and the details aren’t on his list, his work is to get the place ready. And she wants a tent. They’ve got a great location, with a fabulous view. The house sits overlooking a large pond, with the Colorado River behind that, and as a final backdrop… an unobstructed view of the Colorado National Monument. Any bride would be thrilled to have a spot like this.
They absolutely have to have a tent. Good thing we do tents! The wedding is planned for the middle of June, and it’s probably going to sunny, but we can easily have rain in June, so a tent makes sense. They’ll need shade, definitely. And of course it will be essential if it rains. But, there is more to consider.
The site is going to be perfect and easy to set up. They already have paved access behind the house to a large parking area that is flat and level. Not only does it make it great for us when we show up to setup, but it’s going to be perfect for their guests. Ample parking, easy walking, plenty of dance space, all in all, an ideal party site. The only thing lacking is shade.
So, dad is happy to see what we can do with tents. In listening to him describe their plans, and in doing an onsite walk-around, it becomes very evident that something is missing in the plan.
They’ve thought it all out, except for the element of time. Specifically, the time of day they’ll be out there. It’s an afternoon wedding, with an evening reception to follow. But by evening the sun is getting lower in the sky, and before the party would really get going, the sunshine is going to be streaming right into the tent. Sometimes we even get some wind in the evening, especially close to the river. We had a solution: side curtains for the tents.
The bride wasn’t really sure about the extra expense. She didn’t want curtains blocking the view, and she wanted people to have an easy flow in moving around. The nice thing about side curtains is that we can pull them back and tie them to the corners, and voila, they still would have a great view and people could easily move in and out. Dad decided to go for it – to plan for the unexpected. Then, when the sun began getting low, or if the wind picked up, or it started to rain, all they would need to do is pull the curtains shut! Dad made the right choice, he went with the curtains.
The day after the wedding, while we were picking up the rentals, we heard how great the evening had been. Did they use the curtains? Absolutely! The wind never got bad, and it didn’t rain, but the sun did shine. And when it started going down, WOW! it was so easy to pull those curtains! They were so glad they went with them, it would have been harsh looking into that sun, and it would have been even hotter. The tents were wonderful, but the side curtains made it work!
End of story… uber happy customers. Not because we had sold them on something they didn’t need, rather, because we knew what they would need.
We want to make your event, wedding, or party a success. We want to help take the stress levels down. We want happy, satisfied customers. Come see us, and let us help make a difference for you.
February 11, 2015
Pulling off a great event, wedding, gala, or party can be a lot of hard work… and stressful to boot. At times it can feel like you’re trying to get a drink from the fire hydrant.
We all know what that feels like. It’s that “first time” experience. We’ve never done it before, but here we are up to our eyeballs in it. Sometimes the easiest way to deal with, and manage stress, is just to change your way of thinking. Telling yourself, “Nothing, and no one is perfect,” isn’t always a cop-out; often it is simply the truth.
Acceptance and attitude can go a long way toward stress relief. And so does realistic planning. There is the dream of how it should look and be, and then there is the “Fourth Law of Thermodynamics.” Actually there are only three, but some of us add a fourth and call it “Murphy’s Law.” It says, “If anything can go wrong, it will,” and usually at the worst possible moment. Some of those moments will be those that make your day or your event unique and memorable. Some even make it to YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5NdssyIVA0
Approach your event or wedding with a disaster plan, because something will deviate from the best laid plans. Plan for it. You’re saying your vows outdoors? Maybe it’s that family reunion you’ve been planning for years up on the Mesa. Do you have lots and lots of umbrellas? Better yet, rent a tent! Going to eat foods you’ve never had before? Make sure someone close to you is has Benadryl. Whether it’s the weather, the large gathering of incompatible people, or just Murphy’s Law, prepare for something going wrong.
A great way to help you plan is to make a list… make tons of lists. If you’re a bride-to-be you might want to check out: http://www.weddingbee.com/2008/08/07/the-packet
Above all, learn to relax. You don’t want to end up in the hospital before your event! Seriously, take care of yourself and try not to stress. Your event/wedding is going to be amazing, no matter how much or little you planned.
Grand Events knows weddings, we know about events… put us to work… helping you control the pressure, handling the flow.