So, for the first ten years of this little rag, the number one thing I was asked, was “How’s the Queen?”
I still get a fair number of those, but now I mostly get asked about tenderloins.
Hopefully you’ve heard somewhere or another about our trademarking the phrase “St. Joseph, Missouri, Tenderloin Capital of the World!”.
“What’s your favorite? What about this one? Have you ever had that one?”
But mostly, “What about this Tenderloin Festival?” “C’mon man! Let’s go!”
Frankly, I’ve been waiting for the city to get on the bus.
I want it on water towers, highway signage and out-of-town billboards.
Can’t understand why it’s not. This is my blatant request to make that happen. Use my trademark to make local cash registers ring 365 days a year. We’d be foolish not to!
But then, lets talk festival.
I’ve been meeting with people. Lots of people. City people. Pork people. Sponsor people. Tourism people.
People who put on festivals. People that don’t anymore.
Here are some things I know:
The bigger the festival the farther out you have to plan it. We’re thinking big festival.
We’re thinking multi-day.
You can do a slam-bam, in and out thing, but we want to impact tourism, dining and hotel. I’m actually thinking of a festival with weekends on both ends. Maybe the biggest festival ever held here!
I know, I know. Here he goes again! But hang with me here a sec. Almost every festival is put on by a single non-profit organization. Love it! For many, this is their big fundraiser of the year. But what if our festival was put on by some kind of “blanket entity” that oversees mini-events all over town?
The first weekend could have a greased pig contest run by the 4-H kids out at MWSU. A tenderloin eating contest at Hyde with the FFA. The crowning of “Tenderloin Queen” at Krug. Something at the Casino. A Tenderloin Motorcycle Ride. A 10k (Tenderloin Trot?) Let everybody get in on it. (Sounds like a lot, donut?) But then the big cookoff-music event, the next weekend. A parade leading to City Hall. Think Apple-Blossom BBQ but bigger. Think Trails West, but without the fence.
But check this out! My long-time pal, Councilman, Marty Novak got me in some hot water!
He joined a Facebook Group called Pursuing Pork Tenderloins, and put a link to our stuff, out there to their rabidly passionate, 30,000+ members.
You can go read it all, but let me sum up the initial response. “Who the hell does this guy think he is?!!!”
Had to join the group myself, to get a word in. Again, you can go read my response, but essentially, I told them to chill. We never claimed to be first, most, biggest or best. We’re just an area, blessed with good ones, and people that appreciate them. We reminded them that anyone else that thought of it, could have done the same thing, and that our application was not contested.
Most of them were cool with it. Then, I invited them to come see for themselves. Mentioned the festival idea. Whoa, baby! “We’ll come!” “Us too!”… over and over. Somebody mentioned they’d wanted to do an annual get together for a long time, and here we were, doing the work for them.
IF WE BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME!
My favorite comment, I’m totally swiping. Somebody posted, “Well, you have to admire their audacity!” That sums it up perfectly.
Because I’m not done. I want to reach out to the Food Channel. Get them on board early. We’re just audacious enough to think they’ll come. Why wouldn’t they?
Nowhere else has this! There are BBQ cook-offs and Chili cook-offs everywhere! Love those events locally, but not many folks are traveling far to attend. They’re more for us.
This is our idea to bring large numbers of out of town people, (and their dollars!) here, for a completely original event!
SO, we want you! We want charities and other non-profit groups to bring your idea for mini-events, inside the larger festival. We’re looking for sponsors. Anybody, really, with an idea, some manpower and a checkbook.
And local tenderloin purveyors, you might want to take a look at that facebook page. You can’t taste them, but there are fabulous looking ones out there. It occurs to us that nobody we know locally, is doing the really, really big pizza sized ones. Wish somebody would. Certainly not an indicator of quality, but super popular for photo-ops.
I’m proud of our tenderloins here, or I’d have never started all this, but we’re certainly not the only ones putting out good ones. I’ve opened my big mouth and challenged the rest of the tenderloin universe. They know about us now. They’ll be coming. And a lot of theirs look mighty good, too!
Now, mind you, I’m not promising diddly squat! But we can pull this off if the right folks and enough of them, get involved.