It's the dog days of summer, and looking back at 2012 so far, the Crimson Kings have had a very accomplished 2012 so far. From increasing membership to recording the first ever album, we've continued to forge ahead with a string of performances and new experiences for the Corps. Last weekend, August 10th through the 11th, we managed to check off another one of our big goals. We performed at Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This is the first time in almost ten years in which the Corps has gone away for a weekend trip. The last trip was performing in Albany, New York honoring the American Legion. This trip was a bit different though in that it became a little bit of a vacation for the Corps as well. The trip started out with a little hiccup in that the cops actually almost didn't let us drive off as we packed the big charter bus. A concerned onlooker had called the local police because they saw "children with rifles" walking down the street. After learning it was our guard line loading up the bus with their flags and rifles, the police smiled and let us on our way.
We hit the road at 7:30AM towards Hershey Park. After about four hours on the road and a quick lunch stop, we arrived at the park ready to perform. We warmed up briefly in the Midway Talent Quest tent, and began our performance at 1PM. We paraded through the park arriving at The Boardwalk's main promenade where we performed our set. Our set consisted of America, Be Not Afraid, Simple Gifts, Braemers', Ode To Joy, Foxy Lady, and Marines Hymn. For our finale, we debuted a new song in our repertoire -- LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem. Afterwards, we marched back to the Midway Tent. Along the way, we received applause and heard onlookers singing along to our songs. It was truly a successful performance.
Here's a short video of us warming up!
After loading up the bus with our equipment, we headed back into the park for a full day of well-earned fun. With roller coasters, water slides, games, a zoo, death-defying rides, and so much more, there was plenty to do. At about 9PM, we left the park and headed to dinner. We pulled into a Waffle House nearby our hotel. The lot was empty. The restaurant was deserted with their lights off. Our hopes for dinner were looking a bit glum. But then one of the employees came up to the bus and asked how many we were.
"40 plus!" said Dean our fearless bus driver.
"Come on in then!"
Just the words we wanted to hear. We filed into the empty Waffle House filling every seat. There actually weren't enough seats for all of us even! With only one cook manning the kitchen and two waitresses, we flooded them with orders. Before you knew it, there was a stack of bacon and waffles ready to be devoured. Yes, the Crimson Kings took over a Waffle House. Once our empty stomachs were full, we drove to the nearby Quality Inn which we called home for the night.
Many of the members took advantage of the outdoor pool the next morning before breakfast. At around 10:30am, we officially started day two of our Pennsylvania adventure. Despite a little traffic, Chocolate World was our next destination. There we learned how Hershey makes their tons of chocolate goodies every day. Everyone then got a chance to load up on chocolates, souvenirs, and treats. The five pound Hershey chocolate bar seemed to be a favorite.
Once everyone got their fill of bounty, we got back on the bus and drove forty-five minutes to our final destination of the weekend -- Cherry Crest Adventure Farm. Not quite sure what to expect, we headed down a dusty road and came upon what ended up being a hidden treasure trove of fun for everyone. There was huuuge corn maze, petting zoo, pedal karts, bucking broncos, bee barn, giant slingers, hay chute slides, jump pillows, and so much more. Have to admit, we kind of wished we had a bit more time to spend here.
Our long weekend of fun ended at the farm, and we headed back to New York. Despite being a sunny all day, it then down poured on the way back home. I was as if the clouds were waiting for us to finish our adventure-packed weekend before deciding to rain. Before you knew it, the New York skyline was peeking out of the horizon and we were home without a cloud in sight. It was definitely meant to be a great weekend.
Our bus pulled over on Canal street. We unloaded and headed back to the school. This time though, we hid the rifles.
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