As most of you may know, last weekend we were at the Atlantic City Beer and Music Fest, as are every year and will be next year as well. Let me tell you how our weekend started..
Myself and my husband packed the truck and drove South about 45 minutes to the Atlantic City Convention Center, and started building our mobile store. Eventually, help came to the rescue! A truck loaded with 4 friends came down to help out and share in the festivities! (Thank you guys for everything)! Once everything was "under control", we waited for the doors to open. All 3 sessions are sold out so we are expecting a crowd and we're ready...we think!
The doors open after the bag pipers play our National Anthem, they get the crowd psyched up, countdown from 10 and open the flood gates. It's like a stampede! Everyone running to get to the beers they want to taste first without a line, dressed in crazy costumes, teams with matching shirts and hats, groups of bachelor/bachelorette parties, groups of birthday parties, and just a whole lot of folks out for some fun!
Generally at most beer fests, the first hour is slow for us, as everyone is trying to sample as much as possible, but this year was different...we were actually busy the first hour in that our booth, I think sticks out more so than years past. We look more like a "store" instead of a space selling shirts. People were so taken by our story and mission and bought shirts, hats, stickers and wristbands, etc., etc. Some bought for themselves, some bought gifts for others who they thought needed some inspiration! And it's always great to see and hear people wearing our older gear and tell us they wait to see us each year so they can come back and buy more!
After several hours of fun, this night ends and we decide to take a little time to enjoy ourselves and our entire group, plus some other, went out for a drink or two, listened to some music, talked about the day, laughed a lo, then retired at our hotel rooms early enough to get some decent sleep before tomorrow begins!
Saturday morning, it's coffee and food, then get back to the convention center to get ready for the 11:15 am opening! I'm on my second Grande Vanilla Latte from Starbucks and people are already drinking beer?! I must be getting old! But eventually we all perk up, minus one from last night who stayed out til 5:30 a.m. (I will not name names...)...lol...Our crew is wonderful, it's a beautiful day out and we're ready to take on the World. A few new little helpers showed up today for the fun too!
Doors open again to the sold out crowd of 7000, and it's like a heard of wild bulls charging beer tents! Totally different vibe than last night, these guys are out on a mission and out for a great time, not a good time! The place is buzzing with excitement! Great live bands playing, and some came and got Fukitt gear! This session is a lot of fun! People are inspired by our words and love everyone who is helping out with the booth (I must say we have a great support team who believe in what we do and say and are about as passionate about Fukitt as we are..thank you all again)! Young and old, new to Fukitt and people who know who we are, flooded our "store" and made purchases for themselves and friends!
After this crazy session closes, we have one hour to eat, rest, restock inventory and get prepared for the final night session which is also sold out to 7000 more crazies! Whew..I'm tired just writing this!
Anyway, third and final session, we do our thing, most like the first two sessions, made a lot more friends along the way, inspired a lot of people and sold enough gear to bring us back again next year! It's a great time, put on by a great group of people and we are so happy we are part of the AC Beer and Music Fest every year. Thanks guys for all your hard work. If you've never been to this event, you should try next year. It's worth it if you like to have fun!
So, in closing, I just want to say thank you to everyone again who participated, helped and to those of you who shared your stories with us...WE were inspired to hear your story of survival, in whatever shape or form that survival came in. Whether it be cancer, a bad divorce, a terrible accident, depression, etc., we were humbled by your words and the fact that you were willing to share your stories with us. It makes what we do, why we continue to do it.