It seemed like half the people that were parking in my yard yesterday were headed to the Whitesnake concert. The other day, I parked a disturbing number of people in cowboy hats and brand new cowboy boots. Tonight looks to be more of the same.
A look at the roster of acts for this year's State Fair can be considered, well, let's just say this ain't Summerfest. For the past week, we've been delighted with such Main Stage acts like MC Hammer / Tone Loc / Young MC, The Turtles / The Association / The Buckinghams, ZZ Top, Whitesnake / Skid Row / LA Guns, and tonight... The Oak Ridge Boys. Acts so lame that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel didn't even bother to review them.
I know that lots of things go into trying to book a band for something like this. The first handicap is to find bands that are actually touring. Then you've got to be able to afford to book them. And you've got to find groups that are not afraid to "downgrade" themselves to a state fair venue.
Bon Jovi, Neil Diamond, Metallica, some of those teeny-bopper (and hip hopper) bands that I can't tolerate, Frank Sinatra... All of these acts either still draw upwards of 15,000 fans in state-of-the-art facilities or are dead. I get that.
For the day, we parked 11 cars (for an eight day total of 103), and I believe I quit too early. I had two more spaces to fill but as the clock rounded 6:30 and headed for 7:00, it looked like the traffic was done so I went in and turned on the Brewers game. My-Sugar-Na was running an errand and I didn't feel like cooking, so I decided to head out to Noodles & Company (she is still trying to get over the broccoli and celery disaster at Island Noodles at the Fair the other day). When I stepped outside, I see that my neighbor (who hadn't been trying to park cars) had snagged three or four of them.
At a weekday price of $3 a car, I am not going to lose too much sleep over the six smackers that I didn't make, but it's the ego thing. I am three blocks from the entrance from the Fair, and there are lots and lots of lawns between the Fair and my yard. I don't want to use that as an excuse, so I do what I can... stand outside longer than others, wave my flag more demonstratively, charge a couple of bucks less, etc.
And for the most part, it has worked. For the first eight days I have parked 13 more cars than last year (and it was a huge year last year). The challenge will be to maintain that lead for the last three days. This Saturday looks like rain for a significant part of the day (Side prayer; Lord, give me a five hour window between 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM with clear skies so i can fill my yard at $10 per and hopefully flip a bunch of spots). As for Sunday... last year we parked 24 cars on the last day of the Fair (and I have no idea how that happened). Between the bad weather forecast and an unusual spike last year, it will indeed be a challenge to park 42 cars and make the $309 in the next three days to beat last year's mark.
You never know when it will be your last shot.