Our Best Opening Day Ever...Ever! No, Really, Ever!

It was so great to see all of you on our opening day. We had an official count inside of about 480, but had a second backup row that we couldn’t fill, so we’d have maxed out at 500 or so. I’m guessing we had another 100 cars show up that we couldn’t get in because they hit that snooze button one too many times or couldn’t pick out that right pair of jeans that morning. You know, it’s not like you had to get up and rake or anything.

We had cars backed up in two rows, around the Microsoft building and down Bear Creek Parkway, yet we moved as fast as we could, and can only get you sorted as fast as your ability to back at an angle. Once we were full, that’s when we saw a bit of chaos as people were waved off in groups. It was like a botched carrier landing with flailing arms to get you to abort from three directions.

Spectators were in the thousands, and I can only guess at around 3-4,000 based on my counting a small section then extrapolating. Besides, nobody holds still. To get a real accurate count, we’d have to superglue everyone in place, then count who’s wiggling.

The volunteers did an extraordinary job and we had many that started this year. Thank you all! Jason did a lot of foundational work behind the scenes to get our new volunteers ready and we can’t thank them all enough for their contribution. They were outstanding. We welcome all of them to the family and we know all of you will make them feel right at home.

This event requires the help of a lot of volunteers and we’re now large enough that we have experts in key areas to make the whole thing happen. We all play our respective roles well and it’s fun to be a part of this group. Sean is extremely good at sorting cars and remains our resident expert. He is our sorting hat.

We had only a tiny number who showed up a little grumpy because they had to wait in line, but we were landing 500 cars as fast as we could, most in less than an hour in all in the right spots, so there. Some of you can’t park your car on your own at Safeway, so give it a rest! You know who you are! Don’t fib. You could just stay home and cook a nice piece of fish.

What I loved most was all the good humor and fun as cars arrived. The excitement is seeing so many people eager to get in and say hello to old friends while thinking about the additional chubbessence added over the winter. We know you think it. I could have been a fine gymnast if it wasn’t for my love of pastries.

Oh, we did have a small group of narcissistic self-absorbed BMW M-car owners go out hot in a row in spite of being reminded to slow down, not to mention our highly-collectable behavior card we freely give out upon your arrival. There they were, in spite of our warnings, scooting down Beak Creek like a toddler with a binky. Yeah, you did get a card. You know who you are, and we will further restrict certain cars if it continues. We still debate banning all M-cars for this reason. Some groups are just worse than others and have no problem ruining and event for everyone.

Opening day always brings those few, so we call them out. As I ponder this, I fondly recall that I took biology in both high school and college. It was a class I loved. I took it seriously. I never thought it was even remotely possible for a blow-up doll to give birth and raise offspring, but as you flew out, there you were.

On the flip side, most were very good about their entrance and exit and we can’t thank you enough. It means everything to us and it shows a high level of respect to all of those volunteers, spectators and participants who contribute to preserving E@RTC. You were brought up well. I saw a lot of faces of those who were with us from the very beginning who have been loyal to us for the last ten years. That a very big deal to all of us. Thank you!

Overall, it was the best opening day we’ve ever had and we now look forward to lots of Saturdays, so fill out those yard pass forms early. Limber that jaw. Paint the house if you have to! Do that thing they like.

I met a few who were there for the first time, and people such as Ibrahim who drove down with his mother from Vancouver, BC, just to take in the show. That’s dedication! I’m surprised how far people will drive just to attend and support the event. It’s why we do this. Thanks to all of you.

Last, a shout out to Vic who started this thing with me ten years ago. We’ve been through a lot getting this launched and up and running to this point and there were many out there continually betting on our failure. We’ve had a lot of laughs over the years and Vic remains one of the best event ambassadors we have. Vic is the calmest person I know, yet when I hear Vic got mad at anything, I take it seriously. Thanks for being a great partner from the beginning. Ten years!!!

The event belongs to all of us, yeah, some a little more than others, but we all work together to make it about having fun. Thank you!

Also, write us! We love hearing what you have to say. Let us know how we can make things even better!

See you next week!