Despite Saturday morning's early thunderstorms which brought heavy rains with plenty of lightning and rolling thunder, the weather improved by opening time and there were over 400 gate admissions, much better than expected. Sunday dawned sunny and delightfully cool, bringing BIG crowds to the festival right up to closing time. I went to the museum early to have time to vacuum the carpeting on the stairs and hallways of all the grass that was tracked into the mansion on Saturday. Also had time to dust model cases and furniture before the onslaught of visitors that began early. Must have been the "pied piper" sounds of Dave's steam calliope drawing folks to the festival! As mentioned in another thread by Travissimo, yours truly did plunk out a couple of tunes, but it was Travis and Dave who did the lion's share at the keyboard, making adjustments and keeping up steam, ably assisted by Zach Morecraft. Yesterday morning, as the sun began to shine brightly, Travis opened the concert, quite appropriately, with "How Great Thou Art". It's always great to visit with steamboatin' friends, but I was "overwhelmed" at times with the crowds on the second floor of the mansion and didn't have much time to socialize! I surely did miss Judy's help, but it was not her fault that she had to cancel out. Blame Mother Nature!

In between the calliope concerts, Ted Guillaum's band organ floated lilting melodies over the mansion grounds and delighted many, always a crowd pleaser! And the festive dinner at Kingfish on Sunday evening was a wonderful "postlude" to the weekend, with lots of fine fellowship and steamboat stories that abound whenever two or more river minded people gather!

THANKS TO ALL who assisted in ways great and small to make the 17th annual Chautauqua a BIG success. It's a LOT of hard work that requires a LOT of dedicated people to make it happen -- our biggest fundraiser of the year that largely helps keep the museum open six days a week, year round.