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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