Swickard: More money attracting festivals

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   One morning in my coffee shop, we convened our own Chamber of Commerce. Business has been slow in our little slice of heaven so we needed to come up with some ways to induce folks to come and spend dollars.
            We really didn’t want lots of people to move here and clog up the roads and stores. Rather, we would like people to come, spend money and then go home.
            I took out a piece of paper to jot down ideas. One person said that the way to make money was to have all sorts of festivals such that out-of-towners came and spread cash around.
            I mentioned that Roswell had the Aliens Festival. We pondered that moneymaker. When I mentioned to one of the leading citizens in Roswell that the alien story was suspect, he said, “But they bring hundred-dollar bills.” Then he smirked.
            Many years ago I wrote a column about that Roswell Smirk. We could have that smirk if we could just invent a good festival.
            First, there could be Dust Day in March and April. Southern New Mexico is noted for the dust storms, maybe we could get people to come. Probably not. I have thought that instead of a Rain Meter, I should invent a Dust Meter. After a two-day windstorm, it would show 1.3 inches of dust was in the air.
            We were going well and the ideas flowed like coffee. There was Waffle Days on the first Tuesday of November to coincide with the elections. The agricultural members offered: Pig Days, Chicken Days, Cow Days, Goat Days… the group paused.
            From one table over a vegetarian offered Tofu Days which was followed by Road-Kill Days. No interest in either. More practical was Rusty Old Cars Days, Bow Tie Days, Halitosis Days which brought out Onion Days.
            Two months of every year about fifty percent of the onions consumed in our country come from Southern New Mexico. That festival could be sponsored by one of the many mouthwash companies.
            Horned Toad Days were offered along with Siesta Days. I was in favor of that. I have never been disappointed in a good old afternoon nap. There was Nothing Much Happening Days but that didn’t get a second.
            One of the coffee drinkers pointed out, “We don’t need days, we need nights for festivals. During the days, we are all working other than our coffee breaks.”
            That caused the conversation to slow down because one person pointed out that having something at night was fine as long as they could get home by nine, which is their bedtime. There was an early to bed, early to rise comment which we all knew was true.
            Let us reason together as to more festivals in our area to pick up any stray tourist dollars. Send me via this news outlet your ideas.
            Something like Geezer and Geezerette Days might just be the money ticket. I would fit in. Consider that the fifty-yard amble could make the evening news.