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September 03, 2004

First Night

Leslie here. I spent all of Thursday (except for a brief break to see Opening Ceremonies) setting up for First Night. The morning involved trying to get all of the decorator and Hynes setups straight, and moving all my supplies out from storage to the headquarters table in the Midway. In the afternoon, we got a few volunteers who helped with blowing up balloons and hanging crepe paper streamers and cracking glow sticks and hanging signs. Also during the afternoon, the various clubs and performers who were participating in First Night came to check in and settle the final details. Everything went quite smoothly, except for a couple of incidents where persons unknown walked off with vital elements of the setup without asking permission.

Like 30 minutes before opening, when someone came to ask me where the corkboard was for the WSFA booth. "It's right there, next to the booth," and I look over there and see an empty space where just 30 minutes ago there was a corkboard. Lots of little incidents like this made my life a bit more difficult, but it was more than made up for by the people who pitched in and helped out and ran all of the various activities.

I have a few pictures. I admit up front, they're not very good... just quick snapshots I took as I was rushing about from place to place. But they might help give a sense of what was going on.

BellyDancers2First Night began with a live brass fanfare by The Star Chamber. I was off in a corner of the ConCourse at the time, so didn't get a picture, but it sounded great. After that, we had nonstop belly dancing by three different groups, who had set up their own decorated area. They were great - they gave the Midway a lot of energy and visual excitement.

TerryonTrialOne of the big events of First Night was Terry On Trial. We were expecting a lot of people, so with the help of the exhibits and tech areas, we got a platform stage set up in the middle of the ConCourse. Here is Esther Friesner declaiming about Terry's sins, with the Arisia Bounce Castle in the background.

HugoRingTossOne of the first events we had an idea for was the Hugo Ring Toss, using real Hugo rockets (on loan) and glow stick rings. Here is Anne Murphy of the Science Fiction Oral History Association, who sponsored that booth.

ThereminThomas Farrell brough his theremin for people to play with. This is an instrument that is played by waving your hands in the air (in an electric field). Inexperienced players produce some very "interesting" sounds, but we kept the volumne turned low, so I don't think we drove anyone crazy.

IkebanaThe Japan 2007 bid demonstrated various Japanese crafts, including origami and Ikebana.

CCCPersis Thorndike ran the Children's Costume Corner, and helped kids make their own sparkle crowns and magic wands. Persis made a crown for me to wear for the evening.

There were lots of other things happening that I don't have pictures of. To properly acknowledge everyone who was involved in making First Night work would involve a long list of probably about 150 people, including all of the staff and volunteers and all of the performers and the clubs who ran booths and the N4 areas that contributed. I am very grateful to all of them for helping make First Night a success.

Now I'm going to relax and enjoy the rest of the convention.

Posted by Leslie Turek at 02:06 PM in 3-Thursday | Permalink


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