Several years ago, when Mayfair was still held at Cedar Beach, the staff came up with the idea to make the Canada goose the mascot for the annual arts festival.
The Allentown park where it was held was plagued by the pretty but pesky birds, and the idea was to take a negative about the park and turn it around and celebrate it.
I thought it was a clever idea, and the cartoons they came up with of musical and artistic geese were quite cute.
Unfortunately, the birds weren’t the only – or the biggest problem that the festival faced. The rain that always seemed to hit on the festival’s Memorial Day weekend run was a bigger hurdle, as was the swelling river it was set around.
So ultimately the birds were scrapped and the festival was moved to higher ground at the Allentown Fairgrounds.
Still, I always thought the goose mascot was a good idea.
And now a Lehigh Valley restaurant is taking a stab at turning a negative into a positive, with what appears to be better luck.
The new Alburtis Tavern on South Main Street in Alburtis is along a heavily used stretch of train tracks. In fact, the former restaurant there was even named The Iron Horse after the trains that lumbered by.
While I like a bit of train spotting, I could see how some people would be less than thrilled to have their dinner interrupted by the loud whistle of a train.
But instead of cringing at the noise, the staff celebrates it.
I was there Saturday night, and when the whistle blew, everyone cheered. I was perplexed until the bartender stopped what he was doing, rang a bell and spun a large prize wheel on the wall above the bar.
Quickly, a second question was answered. On the back of every bar seat was the name of something associated with the bar or Alburtis, such as Lockridge Furnace. When I entered, I had wondered why.
As it turns out, the prize wheel had the same names as the seats, and whichever name it lands on, the person in the corresponding seat wins a free bottle of beer.
The staff, and some enthused guests, quickly ran up and down the aisle checking to see who had the winning spot, with plenty of hooting and hollering accompanying the search.
It was huge fun, and it made me kinda wish I had been sitting at the bar.
After experiencing the hoopla, I decided more places should find a way to make fun out of negatives.
Work in an office?
Every time the copier jams, spin the wheel and the winner gets his or her pick of anything in the snack machine. (But keep it to items under 75 cents. If your copier is anything like ours, it would get expensive.)
Work in health care?
Every time someone cancels his or her appointment at the last minute, take the extra time for festive salsa dancing, or polka if that’s more your thing – but make it festive.
Work in the tech field?
Have a trophy for the person who can come up with the most indecipherable jargon.
There’s also ways you can perk up the bad parts of any job.
Get stuck working late? Have a funny “working late” hat that can be transferred to whoever is last in the office. He’ll be alone, but he’ll look adorable.
Oh, and have good butter.
That has nothing to do with my blog, but the waiter at the tavern asked me to mention that the butter was good if I blogged about the restaurant. He was very proud of the butter. It was cinnamon-y. And it was pretty good.
What can I say? I can’t say no to a cute waiter.