Sunday, August 25, 2019

Recap of Battery Hooper Civil War Days

Well, another edition of Battery Hooper Civil War Days has come and gone, so after a week of reflection, I figured I would write a few comments about it here.

It was a good event. We  (the board members and volunteers at the James A. Ramage Civil War Museum) did a good job of controlling what we could control. There were a couple of missteps and one or two minor communication issues, but nothing  major. We certainly have some “learning opportunities” for a couple of things and already did a group “after action report” to review before next year’s event.

Despite those minor quibbles, the event was much more good than bad and I choose to focus on the positives here.

Our event schedule worked very well. We had different acts on the two days and did not have the stage constantly in use. This allowed visitors more time to walk around the park and visitors there both days did not here the same presenters twice. I especially like how that worked out.

We added music and  dancing this year, and though a couple of vendors did not show up after having agreed to be there, I believe we made progress in creating new attractions and will have new ideas for next year. (It was also a reminder that people do no always keep their word, a disappointing lesson but probably a valuable one.)

We  had food trucks for the first time since the church next door did not hold its ice cream social. We were concerned about finding room for them to park on the hilly park land, but we managed to find a suitable place that worked out just fine.The trucks were popular and next year we will have more time to schedule and advertise them.

Attendance was not as high as we hoped. We had tried publicizing it more on social media, but clearly need to do more, though the national trend seems to be that historic sites and events are suffering lower attendance around the nation.

We did enjoy mostly good weather, though a rainstorm on Saturday afternoon was inconvenient. Sunday was hot, but not unexpectedly so for August. We, of course, have no control over the weather but we’re pretty lucky overall. Having an event mostly outdoors is always a risk.

I  was very busy both days, which was good and did help the time pass more quickly, but I did not find the opportunity to go around and take pictures  like I usually enjoy doing. The few I tried really  did not turn out as well as I hoped. 

Overall, it was another good event that I was proud to help plan, organize and run. We have some good ideas for next year and, as always, will continue trying to make it better.

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