Another Carnival day has been and, quite quickly…. gone!
That sounds like a very obvious thing to say, but having helped work on it for my first complete year now, it sort of sneaks up on you, and then dashes away again, until next year.
But then, having said that, there’s still lots of ‘stuff’ on my “to-do” list that I want and need to do, to tidy up from the weekend’s efforts. For me, personally, I have:
- Winners details to put up onto the Doddington Carnival website
- Facebook posts to draft and send (and then Share, Share, SHARE!)
- Emails to thank stall holders (that I’ve been harrassing for weeks!)
- …and lots more.
Lots of the others on Team Doddington have other things in their “to-do” lists, whether it’s counting this, folding and tidying that, etc., so the day might be over, but it’s not over-over yet.
People I speak to about the Doddington Carnival seem to have this impression that it’s something that we work on a few months ahead of the first Saturday in July, and then forget about it for most of the year.
The reality is that we meet at least once a month in The Three Tuns, in Doddington, and talk about what’s up next and what needs doing and so on. Each ‘mini-event’ in-between each annual ‘main-event’ is all done to raise money for the next Carnival day, and every penny literally helps, as 100% of what we raise in anything that we do, goes back into the Carnival money-pot, with the exception of the items that we’ve literally had to buy.
As tiring as it has been, the past week has been just great.
The buzz of the event really makes a difference and everyone really pulls together to help make the thing the actual thing that you all see.
We’ve had piles and piles of comments and messages sent in over Facebook and emails, to say how much people enjoyed the day and how wonderful it all was, and that makes the world of difference to us. A simple one-liner from a random stranger (albeit a random stranger in/around our village!) to say how much they appreciated what we as a small team have done, is so uplifting. I’ve been finding them and sharing them on our Slack messaging tool, so that everyone in our team gets to see them, even if they’re not scouring Facebook, like me, looking and documenting them, as they’ve helped earn that praise as much as anyone else.
In a former job, I worked in a small-but-global sports event management company, and we would always note how much the years were based from one annual event to the next, as though that’s the normal course of a year, and not from January to December (like normal people would have it!). Instead, the close of the main annual event (which would have also been in mid-Summer), would be a huge milestone passed, but then we’d start planning all over again, and begin working towards the next one, and the Carnival day is already forming to be much the same to me.
And I suppose, that’s where we are now. Today, I was back to work at the office, cracking-on with the usual 9-to-5, but already there are lots of ideas of things that I could do, or investigate, that might help turn the screw one notch on for next year’s event; some tiny little ‘life-hacks’ that could make this thing over here a little better, or that thing over there easier for someone else, maybe. In fact, they were buzzing constantly around my head at 5am again this morning, which wasn’t appreciated as I don’t need to wake until half-six, but buzzing all the same, and all that will ultimately benefit everyone else in this great village.
I know I enjoyed the day, and I think it’s fair to say that the Carnival Crew enjoyed it, too, as we could see that everyone that came to either the parade, or to the Sports Field, were enjoying the day. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to make it better next year.
In fact, we have a meeting this week to discuss the ‘ups and downs’ of the weekend, and to see what worked and what didn’t work, and what we can do to improve… everything!
If there’s some input that you’d like on this, simply drop us an email.
P.S. The trophy on the t-shirt is reference to the little golden trophies that we have on the arms of our Doddington Village Sports and Carnival t-shirts, as each one added is a trophy (or battle scar!) of our efforts depending upon how many we had done; this year was my second actual carnival day, so will no doubt get another badge of honour to wear, at some point.