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Thread: [NC Mer-Mania 2018] The Last Swim of Summer

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod Merman Dan's Avatar
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    [NC Mer-Mania 2018] The Last Swim of Summer

    Ladies and gentlemen, mermaids and mermen, sirens, selkies, and all manner of subaqueous creatures... I bid you welcome.

    On a more personal note, before moving forward I would first like to acknowledge the stupendous staff of NC Mer-Mania 2017. When plans were made for our second gathering, I was also making plans for my fifth special needs international adoption from China, which while planned for April happened in January instead! Raina and her partner Sean (Canada) as well as Venessa (Louisiana) stepped up to the plate to provide their professional expertise. With their savvy, NC Mer-Mania 2017 transitioned from a mermaid gathering to a proper convention and trade show with multiple vendors, sponsors, and international attention. Other volunteers included Chris from Maryland, Veronica from California, and Tom from right here in NC. Tom and I laid the groundwork for NC Mer-Mania 2016, including event space at the Greensboro Aquatic Center (GAC) and Greensboro Science Center (GSC). His prior convention expertise, input, and participation were instrumental in the success of the event.

    I cannot thank Raina and Venessa enough. With my new addition at home so early, I had to bow out as organizer of the event. As many of you know, Raina is a professional mermaid with numerous books on the subject under her belt. She runs a successful mermaid company in Canada and is quite literally a pioneer and founder in the field of professional mermaiding. Venessa, who managed our website, social media presence, press coverage, and signage has an amazing professional Princess company in Louisiana. Their work was crucial to the growth and success of NC Mer-Mania.

    NC Mer-Mania 2017 was a huge success with over 500 attendees, 300 of them mermaids, signing up for the event. For comparison, the prior year's attendance was over 200. We had scheduled swims, workshops, panel meetings, vendors and sponsors, as well as smaller unscheduled gatherings.

    Yet we found ourself in a unique crossroads. The Deep Diving Well at the GAC was built to accommodate far fewer swimmers than attended the event. We had numerous scuba divers filming from below, when far fewer had been officially sanctioned. And while facility rules were clearly posted, we had several attendees bring non-swimmers to the pool area. While the event had exceeded our wildest expectations, it was clearly in need of a larger space.

    Through no fault of their own, the GAC could not accommodate a larger event in the January timeframe. As a professional facility managed by the City of Greensboro and Greensboro Coliseum Complex, they host a wide variety swim meets, diving tournaments, and similar athletic events which are booked months or often years in advance. They had arranged to reserve one pool for our needs but no additional space was available. While the facility is growing, with a fourth pool scheduled for groundbreaking in April of 2018, it would have been foolhardy and irresponsible to accommodate more attendees in the same space as the prior year.


    This is where my lack of experience with event coordination, coupled with my inability to communicate in a timely and professional manner put NC Mer-Mania on hiatus. When the January timeframe proved impractical, I asked for February or March and waited patiently. Too patiently, I suppose, as time crept forward before I learned that any time between January and Summer was their busiest time of year.

    For those who felt that I was literally doing nothing, that my inaction led to the cancelation of our event in January of 2017, I apologize. To my friends and fellow staff members, whose patience and friendship I overtaxed due to my procrastination, I am truly sorry. While the facility could not have accommodated our needs in January, I accept the full blame for the lack of communication that led to this fiasco and debacle.

    I had all but given up hope on holding an event in 2018 at all, until one afternoon while swimming with Tom, the staff approached me.

    "January will always be crowded" they explained "Even in 2019. How about August, instead? It's wide open."

    I felt my sense of purpose had been renewed, with those simple words. Shortly thereafter I took an Event Manager course, for which I had previously registered, to learn the skills I needed. I contacted a local artist in neighboring Hight Point, NC for new and exciting artwork.

    To accommodate the growth of the event, I propose transitioning from a Winter event in January to a Summer event in August. This alleviates many issues, from a constraint at our host venue to the uncertainty of the winter weather. As many of you know, this January has been treacherous in NC, with several ice storms and snow days crippling the city. The warmer weather may also afford many unique opportunities with surrounding facilities.

    To gauge potential interest between now and August and to maintain constant communication with the local mermaid community, I have proposed several smaller gatherings in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, as mentioned on the Gate City Mermaids page. From quarry swims with koi fish, kayak excursions at Mermaid Point on the Cape Fear River, to a photoshoot at a mermaid-themed turn-of-the-century swimming pool from 1927 at Graylyn Estate, I hope to grow the local presence of mermaid enthusiasts in order to warrant a smaller, more focussed NC Mer-Mania gathering in 2018.

    On February 5th, our own Cookie Ramirez hosted a meet-up of her own at the Triangle Aquatic Center (TAC). The success of the event, coupled with differing policies regarding the reservation of swimming lanes, has piqued GAC's interest. I am now negotiating with them to create a dedicated monthly day for mermaid swims. There has been an interest in alternating months between the GAC and TAC, to accommodate the desires of local mermaids. GAC may also renew their "Mermaid Camp" classes for aspiring new mermaids and mermen.

    In July of 2012 I responded to a MerNetwork post about a current convention, Merpalooza, suggesting Greensboro as a viable alternative. In January of 2014 and 2015, MerFest was held in Cary, at the TAC. I attended both MerFest events. When it became clear that MerFest was no longer going to be held in January I contacted the GAC and GSC, the Sheraton Greensboro, and a handful of volunteers to organize a gathering of our own. To be honest I never expected more than 50 attendees and we had four times that.

    I realize that moving our event from January to August may cause scheduling hiccups with some and outright unavailability with others but please bear with us. It is my intention to host NC Mer-Mania as "The Last Swim of Summer" in August of 2018 and 2019, to gauge public interest in the event's new time slot. By that point the GAC will have completed their new lap pool and there may be the potential to move the event to January again, if that is what the majority desires.

    Please stay tuned to the NC Mer-Mania and Gate City Mermaid pages on Facebook for further information, including the dates for our August gathering, in the near future. This event belongs to us all. As we move forward, I want to hear any constructive ideas you wish to offer, to transform NC Mer-Mania into the ultimate mermaid experience!




    (Formerly known as Æolius)

  2. #2
    I would prolly be interested in going to this since NC is about 6hrs from me. Would there be accommodations like a hotel block with possible discount reserved for people?
    https://www.facebook.com/Thumbelina-...3334293014461/ My new public profile page where I will prolly be posting swim meetups. I'll be sharing different mer related things I find interesting and conservation/foundations that help prevent trashing our world.
    https://www.instagram.com/thumbelina_the_water_nymph/ Instagram.
    I follow/like/add back if others do. I'll be trying to update each and everyone of these as much as I can. So check back often! I follow anyone who follows me as long as it's mermaid/ocean/conservation related.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pod of The South Mermaid_Izzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid_Victoria View Post
    I would prolly be interested in going to this since NC is about 6hrs from me. Would there be accommodations like a hotel block with possible discount reserved for people?
    Seeing Dan hasn't had the chance to reply, last year there was a discount at the Sheraton for rooms and that's where the out of water events were held. However, since this year is a little hectic, I can't say it will be the same.


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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid_Izzy View Post
    Seeing Dan hasn't had the chance to reply, last year there was a discount at the Sheraton for rooms and that's where the out of water events were held. However, since this year is a little hectic, I can't say it will be the same.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thank you for the reply!
    https://www.facebook.com/Thumbelina-...3334293014461/ My new public profile page where I will prolly be posting swim meetups. I'll be sharing different mer related things I find interesting and conservation/foundations that help prevent trashing our world.
    https://www.instagram.com/thumbelina_the_water_nymph/ Instagram.
    I follow/like/add back if others do. I'll be trying to update each and everyone of these as much as I can. So check back often! I follow anyone who follows me as long as it's mermaid/ocean/conservation related.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pod of The South Mermaid_Izzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mermaid_Victoria View Post
    Thank you for the reply!
    No problem!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    I can't make it this year. But next year for sure.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ransom's Avatar
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    Looks like NC is where all the mers are. Count me sold... as soon as I can scrape the cash together. Whyyy am I on the wrong side of the planet?
    "Only in death does duty end." -- Warhammer 40,000

  8. #8
    I would love to go if things actually get planned and cemented in this year. A summer meet up just makes so much more sense too than January.

    Better for driving and for anyone traveling. And an easier time of the year to get away.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by PearlieMae View Post
    It's. Not. Going. To. Happen.
    Someone finally said it

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Ransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PearlieMae View Post
    It's. Not. Going. To. Happen.
    Thanks for the warning! I'll keep an eye on things and plan accordingly.
    "Only in death does duty end." -- Warhammer 40,000

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pod of New England MermanJamie's Avatar
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    I got really worried when I saw the title that the event was being permanently cancelled. When I have everything under control, I would love to go to the event just to meet the community who have been so supportive of me, and have touched my life in so many ways. People have helped me beyond what I could ever imagine. So, some time, either this year or next, or really any time, I would love to come to the event, but my dad has to know. Hopefully, that will get taken care of soon
    And when he opened his mouth, the most beautiful sound came out. A high baritone vibrated throughout the sea, and suddenly all was quiet and harmonious. That is, until the next note.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by PearlieMae View Post
    It's. Not. Going. To. Happen.
    Yeah I don't really have any high hopes, but you never know! lol

    We can hope something comes around but after what's already happened I think everyone is a little wary

  14. #14
    I'm planning on going to NC in August anyway. If dates for Mermainia are released, I'll plan my trip around those days. If it falls through, it's no big deal for me, since I'll have my mermaid friends gathered in one spot rather than scattered across the country, and we have a pool that we'll be able to swim in together. Soooo, even if Dan doesn't make it happen, I'm still hyped.
    bluecorvidae.deviantart.com

  15. #15
    I totally intend to go, and August would make for a more convenient time for me to go than January. I've even resolved to get my new tail done by then.

  16. #16
    God I hope this happens! It is only about an hour away from me, and I couldn't make it last year.

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