Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CulpeperFest 2015

Every year the Chamber of Commerce in Culpeper, VA hosts and event called CulpeperFest.  It is a gathering of local businesses to show their company to other businesses in the community.  It is a way to network and debut products and/or services.  The organizers invited our group, Cruisin For Heroes, to attend last year with a few of our friends and their special rides.  We set up a Fisher House Foundation, Proud Supporter canopy to have a presence for Fisher House and Cruisin For Heroes.  We talked to many people while we handed out information about Fisher House.  It was a good day.
We were invited back this year but were asked to bring more vehicles….which is what we do!  The event doesn’t have a lot of “spectators” but this year there were over 2900 spectators that registered!  And this event is held on a Friday in the late afternoon!  Our group is invited to provide “eye candy” in the form of our special rides.  This generates interest and hopefully adds to the event.  It gives us a presence to the business people in the local community….it really is a win/win deal. 
We had met with the manager of the event over the preceding couple of months to confirm our location and mission.  The day of the event was forecasted to be very hot with a slight chance of rain and have high winds!  Not a good mix for old cars and canopies on asphalt.  The rain consisted of about 20 min of heavy mist….not bad.  But the wind….I think it was blowing 30-35 mph steady with gusts to Mach 2.1….  We had about 40 pounds of weight on the prevailing side of our canopy to contend with the wind.  It was doing ok till a steady gust blew it about a foot, with the above mentioned 40 pounds of weight plus me and my 330 pounds hanging on it!  It kinda skated on the asphalt, never actually lifted off!  We decided to loosen the lower lines on the banners so they would stop acting like a sail….that seemed to work….whew.  All of our participants spent about 4 hours interacting with the other vendors and spectators….it was a very well received display based on the comments we heard.  Sometimes our mission is just being in front of people, making them aware of Fisher House Foundation and explaining what they do for our Veterans and their families.
The event was open from 3PM to 7PM…..since we began setting up around 1PM we were ready to leave around 6PM….  There were 19 people that took time out of their day to help us promote the Fisher House Foundation by bringing their special vehicles to the event.  They did that without any coercion or expectation of reward from us….they just did it to help us support our mission to bring awareness and funding to the Fisher House Foundation.  Cruisin For Heroes has a “list” of volunteers that we call on for the events we provide.  The list is usually around 50 people so we can typically fill a 20-30 car event.  If you think you would like to help us by volunteering your time and vehicle in the future….just email me at;  You can check us out at our website;   
As we packed up some of us decided to attend the weekly cruise in Culpeper at Burger King.  There were a few local cars in place when we arrived at BK and most of us were very tired from the day.  We ate and visited for a while then cruised 40 miles to home.  A very long day but fun and productive….


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