Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Monday, June 09, 2008

Parade Day

Berthoud Day is always the first Saturday in June, and we have gone in the parade and had a booth at the fair for the past three years. Doing both has always been a logistical juggling act, because we're all required in the parade, but the fair booths 'open' more or less as soon as the parade is over and the crowd filters to the park. The crowd is inevitably closer to the park than we are, at the end of the parade, so it takes us awhile to get over there. This year we decided to ramp up the fun, by inviting a bunch of our dog clients to march in the parade with us! So we had a dozen more people to coordinate meeting up with, etc.

But we have to say the day went extremely well! We did the kennel dogs' breakfasts early, and Dave took them out again while Ginger and Taylor and Amanda (our riders) got the horses ready. I drove over and checked in at Subway where I was to pick up a lunch order later and set up the booth tent. We've taken to just setting up the tent and leaving our stuff there so it is ready when we arrive. At least we've gotten smart enough to tape down some basic information so it doesn't blow away but is still there in our absense. The trick we've learned in that we have to also leave horse stuff there - halters, muck bucket and fork, water bucket, and water jug... because the trailer is left way back at the beginning of the parade which is not near the park.

Ohh-OHH, we have a brand new dog brochure that was designed by a graphics guy at my work which is just fabulous!! We went through an internet printer (VistaPrint) and even did a few small batch revisions to see what they would actually look like - they have always been incredibly prompt, and even got us our last order of 5000 brochures in less than a week. So we's feeling all spiffy and professional this week. :-D

(click to see bigger versions)

After setting up the booth, I went home just Ginger was loading Shadow and Romeo (our parade veterans) into the trailer and get my last minute things which included our dogs. We also loaded two kennel dogs into crates in the truck as their owner wasn't able to join us in the parade - but she volunteered her twin golden retrievers to go with us!

Back in town the trailer went off to find the trailer parking, and I went back to drop a few more things at the tent, get lunch into the cooler, and find parking in the shade. This was when the gate-checker told me - 'You are taking your dogs out of here when you leave, right? Because you know dogs aren't allowed in the park.' Um, excuse me? Dogs aren't going to be allowed at the town fair? That floored me but I just kept rolling.

Cisco and Autumn and I walked across town to find most of our volunteer walkers congretating near the horse trailers. It was so much fun to see our 'regulars' gathered in a new environment. All the dogs got bright yellow bandanas with our logo on it. We nominated a pair of walkers to carry the HTDR banner.

Get Ready

Get Set

And GO!

Ginger nabbed one of her students who came by just to make sure she saw her favorite horse (Romeo) in the parade, and recruited her to help carry the SPR banner, AND her dad to walk that pair of goldens -- which though they are young sweet little girls, turn out to have considerable strength when both were aimed in the same direction!

The parade was.. a parade. We did get a lot of 'OOOHHHH, DOGGIES' from the crowd. The bandanas did their trick to make us look like a group and stir interest. The horses were 2 entries behind us, as the Rodeo queens lead the horses and the Sheriff's posse was second. (And the dog walkers opted to be in front of the horses!) I really think it was the most fun we've had in the parade yet.

Quickie Video during the parade
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Afterwards we walked back to the park, poured bowls of water for the dogs and buckets of water for the horses and handed out bottles of water for the walkers -- and somewhere in the midst of all that decided to ignore the 'no dogs' rule since there were already many other dogs in the park and we REALLY wanted to be near our booth to be able to talk to people.

So it was mass chaos for about 20 minutes as we handed out sandwiches and dogs and people jockeyed for space in the shade under the tent, manage people as they pet the horses, and oh by the way we needed to mount the banners on the tent and set out the brochures, and attempt to talk to the people walking by. LOL - good thing it was a casual, small town affair! Actually the weather was VERY kind to us - beautiful and sunny, but just a touch chilly. It sure could have been a lot hotter.

So! Things settled down a bit later, the horses went home after a few hours of grazing down the second-base line and putting up with the fair goers walking up behind them and patting them on their butts... (hee! That was the husband of one of the bartenders at 'our' pub -- and she apologized to us later about that!) Packed up the tent about 4:00 and called it a day. A long, action packed, but very successful day.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awwww, that last picture is so cute! Love the video. Videos are becoming a regular feature on your blog :-D

No dogs in the park?!?!? I suppose the horses were okay? ;-) ~Lydia

6/9/08, 8:52 PM  
Blogger Dean said...

The brochure is absolutely a stunner. I love the dog frolicking and the two white dogs at the top was a great choice.
What can be better to woo the crowd in the parade than having dogs? How smart ! Perfect business to promote, I loved it.
Pics are great and thanks for putting up the vid too.



6/9/08, 9:52 PM  

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