Here are my photos from RedsFest. It was a fun year, and the first time we’ve made it out for both days. I do hope they figure out ways to optimize lines next year, though. Either that or move to a bigger location, if Cincinnati even has one. Another year of success by the Reds, and the Duke Convention Center will be completely bursting at the seams. Saturday already seemed to present some safety issues.
So, yesterday I put up the iPhone snapshots I grabbed on Friday night, our first day at Redsfest. The place was jumpin’ and everyone was having a good time in a reasonable way. We were so naive then.
On Saturday we went down to get some breakfast around 10 am…well before Redsfest was opening at 11, but our trip down the elevator included multiple stops to pick up Redsfest goers who were already on their way to the event. Was there something to do before 11? There might have been. I didn’t actually check. But they had the look about them of rock concert groupies looking to stand outside parking garages and elevators hoping to get a glimpse of their celebrity heroes.
We, on the other hand, were hungry for breakfast, so we ventured through the snow to the First Watch cafe. (A a side note, we didn’t realize it until we got there and saw the sign for ourselves, but the First Watch logo has been featured on RHM before…in this Sarasota spring training post from 2007 it appears behind Bronson Arroyo.)
Then back to Redsfest, where the crush of people was intense on the way to the Yonder Alanso autograph line. The chilled out family vibe from the day before was overwhelmed with an intense fanatic air. With the increased traffic, the Reds made the children stand in line without their parents for the kids-only autographs, which was a horrible idea. Not only do you have hundreds of kids wantonly hitting each other with souvenirs bats, but you also have hundreds of parents crammed together blocking traffic just outside, desperately trying to keep a visual line on their kids in the sure knowledge that they’ll never be able to find them again otherwise.
We managed to sneak into the Ondrusek line with our child before crowd control began enforcing the rule.
But we were back on the outside for Matt Maloney.
Of course there are other things to do besides getting autographs at Redsfest, so we made sure we’d hit all the fun activities before we took off for the day. The Reds find themselves with an enviable problem: after a year of modest success and with a hottie of an MVP on the team, the fans are mobilizing in droves. At this rate, the Duke Energy Convention Center will not be able to contain Redsfest in a year or two, and there isn’t a better location, that I know of.
There is, however, a world-class convention facility that has just been built in Indianapolis. I’ll be happy to show everyone around, if the team wants to bring Redsfest here
We wrapped up everything we wanted to see a tad early and thought we’d get a jump on the traffic. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The hotel valet took our ticket number but forgot to write it down, which delayed us just enough to be caught in the frenzy around the New Orleans Saints arriving at the Hyatt across the street.
I know what you’re going to ask, and no, they did not appear to be marching as they got off the bus.
The Crack Photography Staff will probably be putting together a slideshow of the photos he took at Redsfest sometime soon, but in the meantime, here are some of the snapshots I grabbed with my iPhone.
You know you’ve arrived at Redsfest when you see Adam Dunn’s old jersey.
We spent most of the time in Autograph Line D, the kids’ only line. First up was an autograph from Paul Janish.
We were back in line a little later to add Edinson Volquez’s name to the back of the Reds Heads jersey.
Plus Ryan Hannigan to fill out the autograph list for Friday.
Of course, it wasn’t all autograph hunting. No Redsfest would be complete without the climbing of a simulated rock face.
We just bought our tickets for Redsfest 2010! This is the first time the family is heading out for both days, and since it requires interstate travel to get there, we’ve also booked a hotel. So, it’s an official commitment; two complete days of autographs, climbing the Powerade rock wall, and watching whatever wacky stuff they put up on the stage.
Sorry fourth-grade basketball team that our son is on: we’re skipping the Saturday morning game because we have our sport priorities in order. Sorry kitty cat who will not have us to meow at all night: you’ll just have to mew in an easterly direction and hope the message gets through.
I don’t know about you, but this is just about the most excited I’ve ever been for a Redsfest. There’s just so much up-beat stuff to talk about and so much promise for the future. Plus, since it’s coinciding with the semester drawing to a close, it means not only content to write about, but also time to write it.
I hope to see you at Redsfest. Keep an eye on RHM for photos galore.