Breyerfest 2009 has come and gone in a flurry of good times. Breyer as always puts on a wonderful show making sure that collectors of all ages are catered to with workshops and activities not only designed for collectors new but also old.
The welcome gates were happy to greet new and old friends alike
The theme for this year’s Breyerfest was “Birthday Bash” celebrating the 20th anniversary of Breyerfest. I’ve had the honor of attending 14 of those 20 Breyerfests, but missing the previous two years (2007 and 2008) proved to be beneficial this year making the 20th anniversary bigger and better in my eyes than any other in recent history.
Fans from all over wrote birthday wishes to Breyer
Friday morning began early for me, getting to the park at 8:30am for opening ceremonies and to get the first chance at the Breyer store. A pleasant surprise to this current New Englander was the temperatures! Friday began with a high in the high 70’s and the rest of the weekend followed suit! Normally weather in Kentucky in July is in the mid to high 90’s with high humidity. Other activities of the day on Friday was dropping off my Cake Topper contest entry (Which I sadly didn’t win) as well as participating in a workshop (Flockies, stay tuned for a How-to! It was a blast!) and watching Tommy Turvey perform. If you have not seen him perform yet, you should, his DVD comes with the Breyer Poker Joe, his whole act is just too much fun and he is truly a talented horseman!
After activities at the park, the party moved over to the Holiday Inn North, which is the official hotel of Breyerfest. The Holiday Inn North (Or HIN as its abbreviated by most hobbiests) is the host hotel to many attendees as well as the Artisans Gallery which is a showcase and sale of customizers and sculptors, and the Swap Meet which takes place on Friday night. As well as hosting those events, the Holiday Inn North allows their guests to open their rooms for sales, and walking the halls of the HIN becomes a great way to meet other folks and browse. The Swap Meet was a popular event as it always is with a long line and wait to get in, and the hotel was buzzing with conversation well into the night.
Some of the wonderful Cake Toppers
Saturday brought another early day at the Kentucky Horse Park for myself. Arriving at around 9:30am I spent the morning doing Breyer’s scavenger hunt and visiting all of the sections of the park, including the new indoor arena that the Kentucky Horse Park has built for the World Equestrian Games in 2010. The park is under major construction in preparation for the World Equestrian games and has changed largely from the park I remember it, but it is just beautiful! Later in the day included meeting Roxy, the celebration horse owned by Stacy Westfall and taking the time to visit the park and its attractions, including the Hall of Champions and the ever wonderful International Museum of the Horse.
Meeting the wonderful Roxy
Near the end of the day most visitors congregated in the indoor arena to participate in Breyer’s charity raffle, sadly I was not a winner there, but many others went home happy with their exclusive models. Directly after the raffle the crowds made the long trek over to the new indoor arena for the annual dinner and benefit auction. The dinner also hosted a birthday hat contest, which I’m ecstatic to report that I was a winner there! Hundreds of people attended, most in fanciful, hand made hats to show their support for Breyer and their 20 years of bringing together people who might never have gotten to meet.
Dinner and hat contest in the new arena
Breyerfest is to me as it is to many people, a way to get together with people who understand me. Its an opportunity to meet new friends and see the ones I don’t see often enough. One thing that I do every Breyerfest without fail is to pay attention to people who are new to Breyerfest, especially parents with their young, horse loving children. The most impressive thing about Breyerfest is just how nice people are and how willing to help out the next person, and its my goal to do that for as many people as I can. After all, this is a hobby, and we all should be having a wonderful time with it. I know that the most fun of Breyerfest was simply meeting new people with a smile on my face and receiving one back, and isn’t being happy really what’s important in life?
Till next time Kentucky!