Fixing Mayfair

Yesterday I asked for suggestions on how to fix Mayfair and while the comments were sparse, I heard a lot of the same thing, which has been my number one suggestion: get rid of the fence.

I heard that in order to make up the revenue generated by charging admission, Mayfair would need to raise an additional $125,000. So in order to make up the gap in the funding would be to reduce costs and/or increase revenue from other sources.

Love it or hate it, but ArtsQuest has done an excellent job of keeping its name out there and hyping up Musikfest all year. Because of that people are talking about it. They know what’s going on because things are communicated well in advance and clearly. In contrast, Mayfair is almost unheard of throughout the year and when it’s almost time for the actual festival, finding information is difficult. You can’t even find a map of the festival.

Some will say that it’s not fair to compare Mayfair with Musikfest because Musikfest has grown so large it’s really a totally different type of event. So while Mayfair can learn from Musikfest in the arena of sponsoring stages or musical acts, perhaps a better comparison of a successful event that’s similar in size would be the Celtic Classic.

Celtic Classic prides itself for remaining a free event. In order to do so the Celtic Cultural Alliance has done a tremendous job with community outreach and off-season fundraising. By holding events during the year they not only have the support of the community which garners volunteers to help run the festival, but they actively fundraise so the revenue to fund the event doesn’t all have to come from the event itself.

So after dealing with eliminating the fence and getting people to help volunteer, the rest of the public still needs a reason to attend. Mayfair is supposed to be an art festival but some local bands, the third place finisher on a reality singing show, and some fried food seem to have taken over as the focus of the event and the artistic exhibitors are just kind of “there.”

I’m not sure how to fix the problem of not having a lot of artistic vendors because they won’t come if there aren’t crowds and potential customers, and the crowds won’t come without a lot of artists. One thing that I think would be nice to see would be more opportunities to just appreciate art, and different kinds of art. Music is nice and so are wooden bullfrogs, but performing artists, hands on activities that aren’t just for kids would certainly be neat to see. Even something unique like a blacksmith or something. At this point I’m just throwing out ideas, which is something I have to wonder if others are doing, even if they’re not in a position to make changes.

Lastly, the elephant in the room is the destruction of Cedar Beach Park. It seems like the city just doesn’t care and Mayfair just isn’t prepared to deal with the weather that comes up every year. With a careful assessment of the layout and perhaps even reducing its size, it might work out so that it would not only tear up the park less, but it would feel “bigger” because things would be more densely situated.

In the end, I hope Mayfair can pull itself out of the muddy mess that it’s currently in and go on to prosper in the future.

3/90

How Would You Reinvent Mayfair?

As most of you know, I do a lot of volunteer work. This past weekend I had the privilege of helping out at the 26th annual Mayfair in Allentown. It’s the third time I’ve assisted and it’s the third year there was a significant amount of rain. It actually managed to rain four out of the five days that the festival was held. Things rapidly deteriorated into a muddy mess and just as things started to dry out there was another downpour.

Reports are that attendance was around half of what it was in 2011, and even that wasn’t a banner year. In fact, attendance has been down for the past few years, even before Mayfair decided to put up a fence in an attempt to recoup lost revenue.

With talk among the Mayfair leadership of possibly not having a festival at all next year, or at the very least, making significant changes, what do you think should be done to turn Mayfair around, or is it already too late?

I have a few ideas, but I’ll post those tomorrow. I want to see what you come up with.

2/90

Reboot

I’m not sure whose idea it was to do a 90-in-90 round two, but after seeing my good friend Silagh’s post about starting up again this summer, I thought it’d be worthwhile for me to join in too. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot about myself when I did the 90-in-90 challenge last year. Why did I stop? Well, I bought a house and that ended up taking up a lot of my time and energy.

In addition to my blogging coming to an almost dead stop, I also started putting on weight after I bought a house. About 20 pounds worth. Back in March I started running in an effort to lose the weight I’d put on. While I’m now up to running 5+ miles non-stop, I’ve somehow managed to GAIN another eight pounds. Time for a reboot.

That said, I’ll be challenging myself to not only complete the 90-in-90 challenge round 2, but also to get back to healthy eating and, assuming my knee doesn’t fall off, to continue running. If you’re participating in the 90-in-90 challenge, be sure to leave a comment below.

1/90

Couch To 5K – Results

Well, I can say that the Couch to 5K program definitely works, and according to my friend Megan, I’m now a runner. When I started out I was dying at the end of the one minute run intervals and the 90 second walk intervals to catch up just didn’t seem long enough. Now I’m running for 40+ minutes and feel great the entire time. I still think I’m slow, but after nine weeks of running three times per week I am now running 4.5 miles non-stop. My new goal is to get up to five miles non-stop and then add one day of running per week until I’m up to six days per week. After I’m running six days per week I’ll work on getting faster. That’s the plan anyway, unless my pesky left knee keeps acting up.

One thing that is a bit discouraging is that while I definitely feel better, after running for nine weeks I don’t look any different and I haven’t lost any weight. At all. Last year when I lost a bunch of weight it was solely due to eating less. A lot of people thought I was exercising too, but now that I’m actually exercising regularly, shouldn’t there be some weight loss? I mean, it has been over two months. “Oh, you’re building muscle,” is what I hear, but I’m not seeing it.

While hovering between 190 and 195 pounds is better than where I was back in January of 2011 when I was at 230ish, it’s not the 168 I was at the end of last summer. In the end my actual weight doesn’t matter to me as much as I want this belly gone, and if cardio isn’t the way to do it, then what the heck is?