Monday, May 14, 2012

4,000 for Lunch? Right This Way!

The elevator doors had almost closed when I was joined by a man on a mission.  During our brief ride, the Delaware North server relayed what had him in such a hurry.

"Parties on six and eight," he puffed.  "Four suite groups and an evening reception in the Bullpen Picnic."

In catering parlence that means all hands on deck and a lot of scurrying;  for facilities folks at Camden Yards it's just another day at the office.

Big and concurrent parties are a regular feature around here, whether the Birds are in town or not.  In fact, some of the largest fetes held around Oriole Park occurred during football season.  One such epic event was the barbeque staged for the entire Brigade of Midshipmen when they played Maryland on Labor Day 2011.

With the 4,000 strong came their fleet of buses, which also had to be accommodated.  And the country-western band giving a concert performance on Williams Plaza.

Check and check.  We can handle it all.  Even the gate crashers (suspiciously resembling families and girlfriends) that joined the Brigade for the fun.

36 buses were threaded onto Camden Street, the buffet was staged on the wide sidewalk near Russell Street, and the Mids ate . . .  everywhere.

(Not quite everywhere.  University of Maryland's enormous marching band mustered on the south side of Oriole Park.)

When they finished eating and cleaning up, the Mids assembled into companies for their march to the stadium.  A truly impressive sight, particularly since there wasn't a speck of barbeque sauce anywhere on those immaculate white uniforms.

The Brigade will be back Labor Day 2014 when they play Ohio State. 

We don't know if they'll be dining with us again or not, but I hope so. 

There is nothing more gratifying to a mother's heart than a group of polite youngsters who call you "Ma'am" and clean up behind themselves.

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