Sunday, April 17, 2011

Buckeye Feis Review

Saturday I spent the day in Columbus, Ohio attending the 3rd annual Buckeye Feis where my daughter danced. Overall the feis was a good experience. The venue is located just off the downtown area in the Franklin County Veterans Memorial Center (I believe it's the old convention center) and is perfect for a smaller feis - the Buckeye Feis caps at 850. There's more than enough room for stages, camping and to move around freely but perhaps the best thing about this feis is its efficiency.

As promised the feis began promptly at 8:30am with the singing of the anthems and got underway immediately with the competitions. Stages were slow in spots but the volunteers kept things moving along. Results were posted very quickly (which I always appreciate) and had it not been for a lunch break we would have been done with the competitions before noon. The volunteers were some of the nicest I've experienced at feisanna and my daughter won a 2nd place medal in a dance that has been her Achilles heel so we were happy.

Now for the nit picky side of me to rear its ugly head. I mentioned the stages breaking for lunch which seemed to happen hap hazardly with one stage breaking at 11:00 am and ours breaking at 11:40 - right in the middle of the Hornpipes and yes - right before my daughter was to dance her last competition. So instead of being done before noon we were forced to stay and have lunch which came to $16 for 1 slice of pizza, fruit cup, turkey sandwich and a diet coke. Thankfully the competition resumed by 12:30 and we were ready to go by 1:30. I realize that doesn't sound bad but when you have a 2 1/2 hour drive home it would have been nice to get on the road. Conversely friends of mine got there around 10:30 expecting their children to start dancing around 11:00 and in reality those competitions didn't start until after 12:30pm. I'm sure they could used an extra hour or so that morning and that aspect needs to be looked at (in my opinion). I felt the food prices were a little on the expensive side - especially drinks at $3.00 for a bottle of water and $4.00 for a cup of lemonade but I'm sure the feis committee had to go with the venue's food service. Luckily the Buckeye Feis does allow coolers to be brought in and if we do this feis next year I'll be more prepared in the food department. There is on site parking with a $7.00 charge (cash only) and since there's really no other convenient parking you have to pay it. I brought two solo dresses to sell and was disappointed that there was only one large rack and it was already full by the time I got my items there. By the time we were packing up the dresses were crammed in so tightly people were draping some of them on the top of rack rather than return the dress to its original spot. I was told that last year there were more dress racks and I hope they will get more for next year because I'm sure I'll have dresses to sell.......

A few things I liked were the availability of a hole punch and various colors of ribbon for the number cards, an additional card for the parents to keep track of their childrens' competitions, results were posted by stages and awards were handed out in the same fashion making that process very easy. A "girly" note - the medals are very pretty with the Buckeye Feis logo painted in enamel in the feis' colors. The fun part of the day for me was getting to meet 2 of Twitter friends at this feis (Hi Mike & Kristen!) and spend some time with each of them.

Aside from the couple negatives things I mentioned -  a few of those not being in the feis committee's control (food & parking costs) this is a very organized feis. I'm hoping the feis committee looks more closely at where they put their lunch breaks in the future in order to allow some of the competitors to leave and others to get there in a more leisurely fashion. That would also free up camping and parking spaces. Next up - The Central New York Feis in two weeks. It will be our time first attending that event and I'm looking forward to something completely different! Til next time - Slainte!

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