Paul and Marlene Smith were very welcoming. I spent about 25 minutes discussing with the members what my vision for the fair & picnic was. There were some very interesting questions that I would like to post (with answers of course):
- Can the general public attend? Absolutely! Even if you don't have a founding family ancestor, you are welcome to attend. Especially for those amateur genealogists out there, I think that Scott Gillies' presentation and the various kiosks set up around would be of great interest for visitors. You know, sometimes when you are so into marketing an event for a specific audience, you forget that there might be a whole 'nother bunch of people who might find what you are doing interesting!
- When do I have to register? The day of the event or any time before. However, when you register early, it gives me more time to prepare a section for you - with banner and everything!
- What about parking? Am I going to have to hike to the site? Yes and know. Early parking will be available near the large pavilion - between the mill and education centre and upper mill pond. As the day wears on, I expect that parking will move further and further away. That reminds me - I better set aside about 10 parking spots for handi-capable vehicle. Please note: There is a $13 entry fee into Backus Conservation Area. I am in talks with them to have if discounted, depending on numbers. Again - the more early registrations, the better!
- Will you have computers available for registrants? Okay, this one puzzled me and broke my smarmy smile ;) I explained that, no, I wouldn't provide computers for everyone - the cost alone is prohibitive. As well, most avid genealogists have laptops or have printed their family trees. There's got to be some way you lug around all of your research to each archive, land registry office and cemetery! There will be, however, plugs for interested registrants. Another logistical point that will be solved if you register early. (An aside - I've never been asked this question before. REALLY?!)
- Where will family sites be set up? It's an outdoor venue - you will be outside. There are spots available for kiosks and some requests. Again early registration = first come, first served.
- Why are you not inviting any post-war families from the area? This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Since the War did not come to Norfolk County until 1813, there is nothing being planned for this year. I thought there was a definite need for an event this year and thought of those families who were here bright and early. Some major families came afterward - maybe someone will create an event for them.