Potluck Picnic Party with Live Music by Ben Zastrow

*** First Annual Madison Energizers Potluck Picnic Party and BBQ Bash ***

*** This event is family-friendly -- please bring your kids, significant others, etc. ***

*** This event is NOT weather-dependent. I have to pay for the shelter regardless, so it if rains, we'll huddle under the shelter and make the best of it! ***

Even if you don't go to any other meetup this year, THIS is the one you don't want to miss! What better way to meet lots of new people and enjoy one of the longest days of the year?


Exciting update: Guitarist/singer/songwriter Ben Zastrow has generously agreed to play for us at the picnic! Check out his MySpace page and music video! Unfortunately, Ben has to leave at 7:30 for a show in Rockford, so please plan to get to the shelter no later than 6pm if you want to catch his full performance.


The plan is simple: Any time after 4pm, show up with enough food and beverages for yourself and, if possible, an extra helping to share (who wants to eat only their own stuff??). If you have a charcoal grill that you can bring and share, all the better for those folks who want to cook hot dogs, brats, burgers, pork chops, or veggie burgers. I don't plan to worry about who brings what, so cover your own needs and, if possible, also bring something interesting that no one else will have thought of!

Beer is allowed, but please drink responsibly!

Does anyone have a portable volleyball net? Bring it! Softball anyone? There's a field nearby that is available on a first come, first serve basis. Soccer? There's a field for that too. Kites? Frisbees? Croquet? We are limited only by our imaginations, our enthusiasm, and whatever portable sports paraphenalia happens to be cluttering up our garages. If you wish to organize something in particular, please use the comment field when you RSVP.

The shelter is large, so the party will go on, rain or shine. There are even two fireplaces if for some reason it threatens to get chilly! Musicians and aspiring musicians are welcome to bring instruments and serenade the rest of us.

We have to vacate the shelter no later than 10pm. Apart from that constraint, stay as long as you're still having fun. Sunset isn't until 8:40pm; twilight will last until 9:15pm. Bring bug repellent, just in case!

Please consider volunteering to stick around and help with cleanup when it looks like folks are getting ready to head home.

I have to pre-pay a rental fee for the shelter, so I will have to collect $4 in advance (non-refundable) when you RSVP. I will break even if we get 20 attendees. If we get more (as I hope we will), then I will bank the surplus for a future event. If you cannot use the online payment feature, ]let me know and I'll arrange to collect from you in person. You do NOT need to pay for guests. If the RSVP mechanism seems to demand payment for guests (I haven't tested this), then just RSVP for yourself (0 guests) and mention your guests in your RSVP comment.

Here are directions to the shelter (type in your own address as the starting point)

Yes, I know that a Saturday or Sunday would be better than a weekday; alas, the shelter reservations for all summer weekends filled up a long time ago. Maybe next year!

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  • Alexandra

    It was a great time! Thanks so much to Grant for organizing it. I personally wasn't so keen on the music, but it was good to have a musician there to provide for background sound. It was a good chance to meet people. My recommendation for the future is to have it in a smaller space. With such a big space, you need a lot of people to make the event look happenin'. Additionally, more pointed effort is required to meet people when they are scattered over a large distance. Still, it was great to have the games and such.

    June 18, 2009

  • Kent W.

    I really had a good time while I was there; I'm sad I had to leave early. We certainly got lucky with the weather, but I think it actually would have been okay if we had had to stay in the shelter.

    I thought it was a really good situation for being able to talk to people -- a lot of the other meetup activities are fun, but it's also nice to do something that's very relaxed and conducive to conversing. I think it was also good to do something that people were able to bring kids to.

    Oh, yeah -- many thanks to Grant for setting this up. And I hope enough people paid that you at least broke even!

    June 18, 2009

  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoyed getting to know a new group of people and connecting with others that I met at previous meetups. It gets better with each meetup.

    June 18, 2009

  • Grant

    Thanks to everyone who turned out and made the evening a success! Now who would like to plan the next one? :)

    June 17, 2009

  • Michelle

    Great party-this should definitely be a yearly event

    June 17, 2009

  • Daniela

    Great people, great variety of food and fun, great live music - Thanks for organizing such a fun Meetup, Grant!

    June 17, 2009

  • Ann

    Great music, nice mix of people

    June 17, 2009

  • Dee D.

    The music was nice.
    There was a good turnout.
    Thanks for organizing!

    June 17, 2009

  • barbiera

    I,barbara grimm was not able to attend as my ride canceled on me!

    June 17, 2009

  • Grant

    Financial report: The shelter reservation cost $77. The PA permit (which I had to get when I realized we would be able to have live music) turned out to cost $100. So if we get 43 paying attendees, those costs will be covered. Anything above and beyond that, including any voluntary contributions, will go to Ben Zastrow for his time!

    June 15, 2009

  • Grant

    I just realized that this will be the 100th meetup for Energize Activities - very fitting that we mark the occasion in this way!

    June 14, 2009

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