2009 Symphony in the Flint Hills
Here’s one of my shots from the Symphony yesterday.
I might suggest that many of you might enjoy the experience of volunteering for the show next year. You can get information from their website at: http://www.symphonyintheflinthills.org/index.php and I believe the performance next year will be on June 12th (of course that can be confirmed when it is announced by them).
This year I drove a cart to transport Patrons and ADA guest from a bus stop to their seating areas (and back again). This was a great opportunity to meet a lot of people and it was more fun than I can describe here. It was a very long day for me, leaving Wichita at 1:00 pm and returning home at 2:00 am. This was a hard shift to cover, but it was great fun and an enriching experience. I look forward to volunteering for next year in whatever capacity they can use me.
Some advice I made offer if you do participate in any way:
- Arrive VERY early: Parking thousands of cars in the middle of the Flint Hills is complex and it takes a lot of time for all those cars to work their way in via the small ranch roads.
- Be prepared to do some walking. Although there are a lot of people to provide transportation from parking to the entry, you may have to hike a little to get to one of the “Wait & Ride” locations. Once you get to the concert site you may have some more walking to do before you arrive at the seating areas.
- Chairs were available for rent, but they did run out of chairs a few times and it took time to restock. If you bring your own chair, keep in mind that you might have to spend some time carrying it around before you reach your seating destination. Just saying that you need to be prepared.
- Wear practical shoes and clothing for walking across rough terrain. The Flint Hills Prairie is NOT a highly groomed city park and it is normally used by cows & horses (you do know what they leave behind right?).
- Insect repelent, water, sun screen, hat and sunglasses are highly recommended.
- Dust is a common element in this environment. So, be sure your camera and you are both well protected. I’m thinking I’ll wear a bandana over my mouth and nose next year while I drive a cart. 😉
- Food lines can be long and you might have to buy tokens or tickets to exchange for chair rental, food, and drinks. I packed my own food since I was working and didn’t know if there would be time for me to stand in line.
- The weather in Kansas is NOT predictable: be prepared for rain, cold, wind, and heat. It could be after 11:00 pm before you leave the grounds, and it may be a bit cool for you by then. Oh yeah; you might want to bring a flashlight too.
- Traffic is certainly an issue when thousands of cars are trying to exit on the same dirt roads to get to a highway. Take advantage of some of the activities offered after the Symphony is done playing, and use up some time while the crowds thin out. I left the ranch at midnight and still had to sit in traffic to get out onto Highway 50.
- Patience is an absolute necessity. Everyone out there has an investment in time and money to be there, so get over yourself and just have some fun with those around you. The volunteers that I worked with last night were doing a bang up job getting people moved around that vast wide-open space, and there were still lines forming. Honestly; the best advice I can give you on this is that you plan for the time you will be waiting for transport. You do have an option to walk the whole distance and if you are in shape for that, it is beautiful country to walk in.
Hope to see you there!
©2009 Jeff Cowell, jeffcowell.com