Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summerfest In Milwaukee

Howdy everyone! We are working lakeside in downtown Milwaukee at Summerfest. Summerfest is the nation’s largest live music festival featuring artists ranging from Kid Rock to Stevie Wonder and everything in between. Bon Jovi was the opening act on Thursday night followed by KISS a few nights later. This music festival is huge, and I mean HUGE. Everywhere you turn there are music stages with live bands entertaining enormously, large crowds.

Our first day was on Thursday with the folks here in Milwaukee actually lining up outside the gates to enter the event. We started out so busy that we had people all over our exhibit anxious to see what we had to offer. Our first group of visitors to enter the Dome Theater had such a good time learning about Texas and playing the trivia contest that you could hear them laughing and having a great time from outside of the dome.

The Texas or Not kiosk has been a big hit with families competing against each other to get the highest score to win great prizes. On to riding the kayaks down the waterways of Texas. People here in Wisconsin have been very surprised of learning that Texas has so many different options when it comes to water activities. After riding the kayaks they have told me that they were unaware of so many things that they saw during the kayak ride.

One of the most frequently heard comments comes when our guests visit the next stop, The Gulf Coast area of our exhibit. So many people comment “That beautiful beach with the white sand is in Texas? I had no idea Texas had beaches like that!" We have had such a great time spreading information about Texas to the folks here in Wisconsin so far and have 7 more days in the festival remaining. Our featured Texas on Tour artists, Will Sexton and Charlie Faye have been a hit as well and have been signing many autographs! Well – time to head back to work, I will update you in a few days on the remaining week here at Summerfest. So long till next time!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Riverbend Festival

Here we are in Chattanooga, TN at a 9-day show called Riverbend Festival. Riverbend is a big music festival that has something for everyone from the B-52's to the Commodores and everything in between. On opening day country music superstar Willie Nelson played so it was packed! We also brought our own musicians Will Sexton and Charlie Faye and they’ve been getting a great response from the crowd. Will has been signing his autograph onto the free music CD that visitors can win in the Dome Theater. When we tell people that Will is on the CD they can’t wait to listen to it in the car or at home.

Texas on Tour has had some good weather thus far in TN and we’re answering lots of questions about the beaches in Texas. Many people did not know how beautiful it is along the Gulf Coast of Texas. They are even more shocked when we tell them that Austin, Texas is the Live Music Capital of the World!

We sure are getting the message out that Texas is a wonderful place for a vacation and folks are very receptive, especially after they’ve walked through our exhibit. Well, lots of people to talk to, so I’m signing off... Stay tuned for more updates from Texas on Tour!

Friday, June 5, 2009

New York City, baby!

On Wed., May 27, we arrived in New York City, ready to bring some Texas style to the Big Apple. Texas on Tour pulled up to South Street Seaport at 2am and there were still people hanging out and walking around! We spent about 12 hours setting the exhibit up with lots of curious people asking us about what will be taking place during our time here.

On Thursday, the kickoff of our event, we had a jam packed day with two Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, Kevin Fitzpatrick, the 2008 Champion Trick Roper, Wendell and Connie, our two-step dance instructors and representatives from SeaWorld San Antonio, one of our corporate sponsors. It was slightly rainy but that didn’t stop people from coming out to see what Texas has to offer. The cheerleaders were an absolute hit with the New Yorkers (even Giants’ fans) and the two-step dance lessons were so fun! I enjoyed dancing with two ladies who were from Queens and they had a blast too. Austin musicians Will Sexton and Charlie Faye performed on the entertainment stage and really drew a crowd.

Everyone on the team tried to get to bed fairly early on Thurs. night because Texas on Tour started at 5am on Friday with a live television news broadcast from the exhibit. Larry Hoff with CW11 PIX Morning News did a closing segment for their show, featuring animals from SeaWorld, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Kevin doing trick roping and music by Will and Charlie. I think this encouraged New Yorkers to come out to experience our exhibit and gather more information about a vacation to Texas. We were moving all over the place trying to accommodate the crowds that day. At about 7pm the nine-time Grammy-Award winning group Asleep At The Wheel took the main stage to help us close out the night. There were people crowding around the stage dancing and tapping their feet throughout the performance. What a feeling it was to see the entire experience come together.

Luckily on Saturday we didn’t need to be at the footprint until 9am (which is technically sleeping in), but still New Yorkers really came out in droves to experience Texas with enthusiasm and excitement. We had many, many contests today with trivia and the Yee Haw calling contest. The winner sounded like a cross between actor Joe Pesci and a Texas cowboy. This guy was a crowd favorite after his performance. Other crowd pleasers were SeaWorld’s American alligator named Katrina, a wallaby named Nurra and a Burmese python.

And placed about 15 ft from our exhibit was another very interesting activity taking shape... a sand castle was being built by Amazing Walter and his partner Matt. The castle stood about 10 ft high with a 10 sq ft base. It was huge and everyone who walked by took a picture with their phone or camera. By Sunset it was finished and looked amazing!

Overall it was a very busy week with a lot of New Yorkers being transported to Texas via "Texas on Tour".

Our next stop is Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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