Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Early Bird Gets the Soup

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to be the first person in town working on Middnight on Main these days. My phone pinged at 4:45 am with my first text of the day, and 5:38 am brought my first email from Lucy McMillan, the coordinator for this leviathan event.

We're sweating the small stuff here. And the occasional big stuff too**.

There are charts of the 200 volunteers and where they go, maps showing where we will put signage and bus stops, and about a thousand other details that we hope to iron out in the next 3 days, 17 hours, and 25 minutes.

What that means for you, dear reader, is that Middnight on Main might just be the most music, dance, laughter and entertainment ever packed into four blocks of our Main Street. Hopefully, you'll consider joining us, if not for one of 100 events at 21 venues, then for the rooftop fireworks at 6 pm or the countdown to 2012 in front of Holy Trinity Church.

You probably already know this, but the whole schedule and info about button sales is at, or you can download the Middnight app on your iphone or droid.

But here's what I wanted to share this morning: my 4:45 am text was from the legendarily-early-riser Brian O'Rourke, who is the first presenter at a 3-hour segment of afternoon cooking demonstrations at one of the Middnight venues. I wrote up his plans for his 3 pm opener:

Feel that chill in the air? How 'bout a nice bowl of soup? Even better, what if it's made from scratch in your own kitchen, with some local ingredients to make it even fresher? Brian O'Rourke of O'Rourke's Diner is ready to share his secrets on what makes a spectacular soup, chowder, gumbo, or stew! Is it the roux? The broth? Where does the flavor really come from? Brian knows - and you can too! Part of Middnight on Main, Middletown's first New Year's Eve festival.

The sun is not even up yet, and I'm ready for broth instead of breakfast....hmm...I wonder if Brian makes a morning soup?

In case I forget to say thank you in the next few days, let me express my gratitude to all the people who've been volunteering these past 11 months to create an event that will show the whole state how much fun we can have on Main Street, Middletown. Sure, it might be cold. It's hard to know what to expect at a first-time festival. We'll make our share of mistakes. But, to quote Elsie: what good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play! It should be a good show.

**(According to Lucy's 5:38 email, we apparently put the wrong group's photo on our website for one of the performers...the first person to guess which one it was and write into the Eye comments gets a free Middnight button!)


Erinn said...

Was it the Brazilian Roots group?

Jen Alexander said...

Sorry was not the capoeira group.

Bill Flood said...

Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams?

Jen Alexander said...

Oooo Bill. So Close. But no cigar. And now the contest closes, because the website has been updated, and the correct photo is now up for the artist in question. Thanks to all who played the game and better luck next time!

Jen Alexander said...

I lost and then found your comment - sorry if it is on the wrong post!!!

-Jen A.

What a great evening! It was incredible to see downtown bustling with families. While we were not able to get into some of the venues due to the crowds, I was thrilled to see so many people out celebrating. Thank you to all those who spent countless hours working on this event and those that volunteered. This is why I love this city and am proud to call Middletown home. Happy New Year!