Coming soon to a tee shirt on you. . . . the official logo of CannonFest 2102, as chosen by the fans.
When Matt Wagner first announced the idea of hosting a cookout for Blue Jackets bloggers in an effort to foster a little camaraderie within the blogging community, it was probably a good thing that it ultimately wasn't held at his place. I've never been to Matt's house, but unless he has a really big yard it might have been a little too cozy. Approximately 100 people showed up to the inaugural #CannonFest, as it came to be known back in 2010, and they weren't all bloggers.
"Problem was, there seemed to be a bunch of new CBJ blogs popping up every week," explained Tom Fellrath (better know as The Dark Blue Jacket). Tom liked Matt's idea, but encouraged him to think bigger and open it up to the diehard CBJ fans who read the blogs and the many active #CBJ social medialites.
When Matt and Tom asked me to host the first CannonFest at my Buffalo Wild Wings in Grandview, I wholeheartedly agreed to do it. On a typical Sunday afternoon in August, there are four times as many television monitors in the restaurant than there are patrons. You know how the song goes. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.
We expected about 40 or so people at CF1. We were ecstatic when more than double that many showed up. The post-event buzz was incredible. We weren't even sure we would do another one, but a year later the fans still had their lighters raised skyward and were chanting for more. Last year, CF2 drew over 200 people, as well as appearances on the local news and other coverage by the mainstream media. Given the event's humble beginnings, we continue to be amazed by just how much CannonFest has grown in two short years.
And CF3 could be even bigger. The recently completed Blue Jackets Development Camp drew over 1,500 fans on the final day, which has to be a new record. (Development Camp? We're talking about Development Camp!) And this year CannonFest is poised through some exciting new partnerships to have even broader appeal, which makes the possibility for increased attendance even greater. That puts us as organizers squarely on the horns of a dilemma. If the event has maxed out in terms of attendees, we can keep it at B-Dubs in Grandview, proud home to not only the first two CannonFests, but the random #CBJTweetupDrinkup and the upcoming Central Division Tweetup as well. But if it grows too much more, the friendly confines of B-Dubs could start to become cozier than Matt's backyard and we will need to find a more suitable location. If that happens, I'm perfectly fine with it. Young Grasshopper will have snatched the pebble from Master Po's hand, if you know what I mean.
We need your help. To ensure that we have a solid number of attendees upon which to plan and select an appropriate site, we're going to circulate free "tickets" to this year's CannonFest online.
You can claim your tickets (and help us get a head count) by going to http://cannonfest2012.
eventbrite.com and filling out the simple e-form to sign up.
Please claim your tickets now. Besides helping us plan a great event, signing up for tickets adds you to an exclusive email list which we will use to announce CannonFest happenings like, say, where the event will be held...and how to get T-shirts with the new logo. Good for you, good for us and GREAT for what promises to be the most festive CannonFest yet!