Saturday, March 29, 2008

Were lawn mowers meant to race?

The Lawn Mower Grand Prix was, umm, interesting.

First of all, it was really confusing to figure out what was going on. All of Third Street from Poplar to Cherry was blocked off and they set the one speaker up in the center of that area. However, if you wound up one end of the street to see better (like me), you had NO IDEA what was going on. I couldn't hear anything the announcers were saying, the activity didn't seem to start on time, and I didn't see any ugly lawn mowers for the Ugly Lawn Mower Pageant.

The police and volunteers kept coming down the fences around the streets to tell people to move back because they didn't want anybody to get hit if there was a wreck. Well, what was the point of having a certain portion blocked off? Couldn't they have just blocked off a little more? The orange fencing was so high it was difficult to see over. By the time the lawn mowers started racing around the track, they went about 10-15 laps before stopping. Then this one guy took a lap on his own so I assumed the whole race was over and he was the winner and started walking back toward Mulberry Street. Then, I finally hear the announcer telling the crowd not to leave because that was just the first round and they were going to do two more just like that. It was too hot for me to stick around for that.

I don't want to be all negative. I thought it was definitely a good idea for an event. I also liked that they were passing out earplugs for spectators because the lawn mowers WERE loud. I just felt like there needed to be another speaker and a little more organization - these are all things that can be tweaked for next year. I also think one set of the 10-15 laps would be plenty because that was enough to entertain me. And it was fun to watch for that one set of laps.

The only other thing I didn't like is that the race was set to start at 2. The bed race, which also happened downtown, ended even before 1:30, so if you were hanging around downtown for the lawn mower race to start, you didn't really have much to do besides hang out in the Beer Garden. Luckily, Creme de la Creme, a new shop on Cherry Street, was open and serving ice cream to help people cool off in the meantime. I just think the lawn mower race should have started immediately after the bed race if they wanted to keep a big crowd downtown.

Just my opinions, though.

Here's some video Liz Fabian shot of the event.


Anonymous said...

Sorry you felt this way...obviously racing is not in your blood. I thought they put on a terrific show. I agree things were a bit hectic, but give them a was the first time this has taken place at the Cherry Blossom Festival. You should be ashamed of yourself for putting such negative comments on anything like a reporter for the Telegraph you should be trying to help promote the festival in a positive way...not pointing out all the negatives. Maybe next year they will send out someone who actually knows a thing or two about racing...AND THIS IS MY OPINION....I HOPE THEY HAVE ALREADY INVITED THEM BACK NEXT YEAR!!!

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I agree with the first person your post was very negative. Even though this is your opinion you really do make the sponsors of this event look really bad with your negativity and it also makes those guys racing look bad. You just come across sounding like you have a very nasty attitude...not something I would expect from an employee of the Telegraph.

Stephanie said...

And you both sound like you work for Cox.

Mark Bratcher said...

I am Mark Bratcher organizier of the eevent and co-founder of the DLMRA. First I would like to thank Stephanie for her opinions for they will be helpfull in next years event. yes The Dixie Lawn Mower Racing Association will be returning for the 2009 Cherry Blossom Festival.
Ok everyone lets no make this a bash the editor log. However I do thank these viewers for there dedicated support.
I need to clear a few things though. I guess lets start with timing. One of the reasons why we had touch of organization problems was because we started over an hour early, not late. So havng to bump things up put stress on the drivers and staff. The fence was there and will be there, we cannot change that. It is a requirement by our insurance carrier and is there for the protection of our fans in case of accident it will keep a mower from entering the crowd and causing serious injury. So there we have to think about safety rather than best view. The mowers were loud and we have spent thousands of dollars to makre them that way. I have never been to a motorized racing event where it was quiet. I guess if you want quiet, maybe a horse race is more your style.
I think we should focus on the bigger things here. The Dixie Lawn Mower Racing Association set a Cherry Blossom record crows of over 2600 Spectators and helped raise 30,000 dollars for the Cox Cable Theatre. WOW GREAT JOB EVERYONE. I believe those things are what we as publishers should concertrate on, and I feel that The Tittle of this Blog be Tittled Racing Lawn Mowers Bring Record Crows to Cherry Blossom Event. I am not sure there were that many there for the Parade Yesterday. Even if there were our crowd was comparable with it. So there I have said my peace and voiced my opinion. We don't always like bad opions but how can you improve without them.

Mark Bratcher
Public Relations
Event Cordinator

Mark Bratcher said...

I meant record Crouds not Crows. Thanks for the notice I got in less than five minutes Posting this entry.

Elmo Reno said...

To Mark Bratcher,

I was there and the show was great and fun. Keep doing the good job. What happened was what it was, just an accident.

BTW I captured with my camera a sequence of the accident if the people of DLMRA are interested I could send you a copy.