It’s a strange feeling when you approach a crucial date knowing the outcomes of a certain event could determine the course of your company’s future. Caught somewhere between a feeling of dread and unbridled excitement, we really had no idea what awaited us.
This was a first for our city and first for Karen and I - no event like this had been included in Oktoberfest in the past and we knew that an unsuccessful event probably assured it would not happen again. So nothing could go wrong.
Until it could.
On October 11th, two days before the start of Oktoberfest, we received a call from the manufacturer of our playing surface, the fine folks at Pickleroll. Apparently there was an issue - a certain shipping company would be unable to deliver our court in time. Luckily for us, the Pickleroll team had already done the panicking for us, and by the time they called us they already had a solution. The owner and inventor, Nate Holm, was loading the court sections in his pick-up truck and driving it from Arizona to Texas, where he would arrive with his best installer and the two of them managed to get things complete a full hour before showtime.
First crisis averted.
Now, as our DJ (DJ Dink) began to set up the sound system we realized the power we needed for all the equipment was nowhere to be found. In addition to being a DJ, our friend is a problem-solver extraordinaire - a quick trip home and he returned with a power generator. Our playlist cranked up and NOW it was pickleball with attitude.
Second crisis averted.
The first several hours went by as planned, but as we approached the main events for the evening the light stanchion for night play was nowhere to be found. DJ Dink to the rescue - a quick trip home and we had two light stands that allowed us to survive twilight until the light stanchion was finally on-site and operational.
Third crisis averted. Can we please be done with the crises already?
We survived the bumps of the first day. Day two would have none of the hiccups we faced on day one. Twelve hours of competitive pickleball featuring players from across the spectrum of age, ability and gender. It….was….AWESOME.
Day three would again prove to be almost flawless, The impending challenge of breaking down the event loomed large and the cumulative effect of almost twenty hours of running the event was beginning to creep in, but we persevered. As we finished loading the last vehicle, we allowed ourselves to embrace the moment. With the help of volunteers, players, vendors, sponsors and spectators, we managed to pull off an event that started as a vision just a few months earlier. Even now, in retrospect, it’s hard to believe the success of the event. Even the weather complied, as we had three days of sunshine with temperatures in the 70’s.
As I write this, we are still unsure of where this event may lead us, but that’s for another day. Today we celebrate!