As usual, Anne Toews, our Program Director, had meticulously made all the plans for the festival. Mr. Ken, the well-known children’s entertainer had been hired. Dozens and dozens of cookies had been ordered and delivered. The posters were up and the advertising time and space had been purchased. The cast for The Living Nativity and their costumes were all in place, as were the animals. Teams of horses and drivers had been recruited and sleighs had been pulled out of storage. Snow had been cleared for everyone to park and to be able to walk to the stable. And Century 21 Gold Key Realty had provided the funds to pay for all of it. Our guests wouldn’t even need to bear the cost of admission.
As it turned out, the weather was uncomfortably cold during our annual winter festival, Touch of Christmas. We had to resort to using a doll as Baby Jesus. Very few people showed interest in sleigh rides. The teams packed up and left an hour earlier than usual. The CD player was so cold we couldn’t play music in the stable. Only about 250 people braved the cold to enjoy the event.
Once again we were reminded that we can’t control the weather and that the weather can have a huge impact on our success, at least our usual measurements of success. And maybe this is a good time to review what success is at MHV, specifically at our Touch of Christmas festival. Do the success metrics go beyond numbers of guests and dollars of revenue? Does the one who controls the weather measure success in ways that we can’t always quite comprehend?
Philosophical questions aside, we do need to offer a word of thanks to the staff and volunteers who under the leadership of Anne Toews pulled together everything they had control of; to the drivers, most of whom are members of the Southeast Manitoba Draft Horse Association, who braved the elements to offer sleigh rides; and to our sponsor, Century 21 Gold Key Realty.