Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shamrockfest: Striped Socks, Sanitizer, and Questionable Outfits

I went to Shamrockfest on Saturday, thanks to some comped VIP passes arranged by their PR person for blogger outreach purposes. (That's a full disclosure, but it's also a bit of crowing.)

You can see my full set of pics here: Shamrockfest 2008.

Despite earlier threats of rain, it turned out to be a really nice day. Almost perfect, in fact, for a festival: cool, still, and clear, with just enough clouds to keep the sun at bay.

We got to the stadium around 1:30pm -- got really good street parking, too. Getting inside was no hassle (well, I had to turn out my pockets and scarf down my Golean Roll bar -- no outside food).

There were two VIP areas -- one by the entrance, and another all the way over by the DJ stage, at the far end. The near one was packed pretty solid:

Momentary jam-up to get into VIP. The beer lines were more substantial.

So we went to get some beers (much-needed, to loosen up my shutter-finger) amongst the riffraff:

Lon pulls Michelle and Dennis's strings.

Last year, I think I stayed in the VIP section the whole time and missed all the bands I'd said I'd wanted to see. I didn't want to do that again, so we wandered around, doing the occasional good deed:


As you might recall, last year was all about the hats. This year, was all about t-shirts and other questionable outfits:

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Left: Not sure what KISS Army boots have to do with St. Paddy's Day. Center: Pants! Right: Lets go back to the pants.

Other Things:

* The far VIP area was kind of a haul -- you had to walk under the road bridge, but the beer lines were practically non-existent. (I stayed with Bass.) Recommended for you double-fisters.

* Two different groups of helicopters made a few passes -- in preparation for the air strike, I guess. (The photos are basically specks with rotors if you really want to see.)

* Some of the stages were pretty close together. I was wondering why a band wearing traditional dress and instruments was covering 'Sweet Child o' Mine', until I realized it was from the other stage.

* I forgot to look for a TV to watch the ACC tournament. Probably for the best, from my perspective.

* After making a pit stop in one of the fancy bathroom trailers with the running water, I grabbed a squirt of what I thought was hand sanitizer as I headed out the door.

It wasn't hand sanitizer -- it was soap. By the time I figured it out, there was a bit of a line, so I had to hunt around for a paper towel or some unwary person's t-shirt.

Intermission -- Workers at work:

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Left: Trash cart guy makes phone finger. Middle: Hoop Shots hat. Right: Security

Two girls in matching suspenders and striped socks caught my eye:

Note baleful glare of passerby.

They really didn't appear to be having too much fun right then, though:

I just noticed this, but they did a shoe-swap thing, too.

There was a stuffed dog, with beer:


As well as other sketchy characters:

Wait, I know them: Brandon, Kelly, and I forget.

Obligatory photo with me to prove I was there:

My beads are the same ones from last year.

We hung around the food area for a bit, running into more former cow-orkers:

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Left: Kelly. Right: Kim.

I did run into people I knew from several different constituencies, though on the blogger front, I only saw I-66 (as far as I know -- some of you folks are pretty secretive).

Then we headed down to see Carbon Leaf. There was some crowd surfing:


It was a pretty good set, and naturally they ended with "The Boxer."

Carbon Leaf got done at about 8pm, and we decided to forgo Oakenfold and take off. Which was just about right, since it started to rain again. All in all, a pretty good time.

Afterwards, we ended up going to Fairfax and meeting up with some other folks at Hard Times -- I had two chili dogs, which may have been a mistake, though we did stay til the end of the triple overtime WAC final.

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