Irish Fest opens tomorrow! I bet you're as ready as we are to light the fuse on 2013. But first just so we're all on the same green page, let's have our annual review of the rules, shall we?
1. Regular readers here may know that I have a big black dog named
Dugan. You know where Dugan will spending Irish Fest weekend?
Elsewhere. Not even us bigwigs can bring our furry best friends on to
the Irish Fest grounds. Dogs, cats, ferrets, toucans...pets of any kind
need to sit this one out, with the exception of legitimate service
animals. And it goes without saying that the spider monkey you trained
to make beer runs does not fall into the "legitimate service animals"
category. It also goes without saying that I'd like to borrow that
monkey next weekend.
2. Bring your appetite and thirst. Do not bring coolers, thermoses,
bags, flasks, goatskins, bottles or cans filled with outside food and
drink. We'll have truckloads of great food of every stripe and oceans
of refreshing beverages. You've got enough to worry about without
having to pack a weekend's worth of food. Leave it at home for the
3. As per Missouri state liquor laws-or at least our interpretation of
them, underage (under 21) drinkers or people attempting to purchase
alcohol for those under 21 will be branded, fitted with shock collars
and unceremoniously tossed out on their arses. Plus we'll make fun of
the way you were dressed after you're gone. We also reserve the right,
and will not hesitate to suspend service to patrons who we believe have
had enough. And those good looking, talented, fun-loving volunteer
bartenders will not give you free beer no matter how nicely you ask. So
don't. Be nice, drink responsibly, don't drink and drive.
4. Bring a comfy lawn chair if you like. Bring a small bumbershoot to
protect your pale Celtic hide from the blazing Midwestern sun. Bring a blanket
to spread on the lawn. Don't bring a giant canopy, tent or patio
umbrella. They tend to block the view of that guy behind you and he
5. Your admission ticket is good for the whole day and night that you
use it. Come and go as you like. You can get a stamp at the gate to
return all day. Maybe pop over to your hotel room for a nice shower.
Seriously. You're drawing flies, Sweaty McStinkerson.
6. You know what's fun? Those little Razor scooters. And skateboards.
And bikes, unicycles and roller skates. Fun, fun, fun. You know where
they're fun? At home. You may not bring any of them onto the Irish Fest
7. If you're running for office, circulating a petition, raising money
for the Committee To Save The Balinese Beer Fetching Monkeys, or
passing out brochures proving that the president was actually born on
the planet Zorgon 7, don't do it at Irish Fest. No printed materials may
be distributed on our grounds without our permission, which we are not
going to give you. We're cranky like that.
8. If you happen to be a tiny baby and ride around in a stroller, bring
that bad boy along. Bring your favorite grown-up to push it. If you
ride around in a wheelchair, we've got a whole staff of people here to
help you navigate the terraces. Elevators are available in the parking
garages and we have a ramp to make getting from street level to the
Terrace Stage level easier. No wheelchair drag racing please, at least
until I've had a chance to place a bet.
9. If you have foolishly decided not to heed my frequent advice about
booking a discounted hotel room and insist on driving to and from Irish
Fest every day, we've got thousands of covered parking spaces right
here on the site, including designated handicapped parking. And parking
as always is free.
10. If you are looking for something you can't find, have a question
you need answered, or a problem you need solved, ask us. The place will
be literally crawling with friendly, knowledgeable staff and
volunteers. Our highly trained staff have never yet been posed a
problem they couldn't solve. Try 'em if you don't believe me. Our
senior staff members will be in bright red shirts with the word "STAFF"
in big letters on the back, a big tag around their necks that says
"STAFF" on the front and in many cases a big tattoo that says "STAFF"
on places you'll have to ask really politely to see. They live to
assist you. They are bred and trained from birth in special camps just
to make your Irish Fest weekend a pleasant one. Our hundreds of other
volunteers in appropriately labeled white shirts will be everywhere
waiting to help make your stay with us the best it can be. Our board of directors will be surveying the scene from their upper floor suite,
eating bonbons, getting foot massages and sipping cognac...fetched for
them, incidentally, by trained monkeys. Don't bother them. They're
important people, Paddy. Me, I'll be in the whiskey tent. Or lying prone
11. No weapons, concealed or otherwise. And yes, that means you too, Mr. Giant-Sword-Carrying-Mug-On-a-Belt-Kilt-Guy.
12. Above all, have fun. We do this for you. Well, you and the free beer at our monthly meetings.
It's going to be another great year.