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Winterfest review


Trindy

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Well, here's how it went...If you came downtown to see a nice parade and a glimpse of our guys on a gorgeous night for weather, all was well. If you came expecting to see the five songs as promised and advertised, and actually expected to see the guys in the parade (at least if you were where we were)...not so good.

I took the bus to downtown Cleveland and got there about 4 pm, which to my mind was good timing because the first showing of the video was to be about 5 pm. Correct? Even better, I got a primo viewing spot at the corner of Superior and Ontario not only in the front row for the parade, but within full view of the big screen on which the video would be shown when the time was ready. Not only that, but I run into Maryanne and her Scott (I began talking to Maryanne because she was the only person in the crowd wearing a Raspberries button, a Raspberries necklace and a Raspberries BLAZER...something told me she was probably one of us). They have come all the way from Lisbon (Ohio, not Portugal) for this thing. Eventually my cousin also shows up and now we're all together waiting. Weather is unbelievably great, we barely even need coats. It's practically summer out there, at least for Cleveland in November.

So far, so good, right? Well then, how come it's 5 pm and they're showing us the Frosty the Snowman cartoon on the big screen? Oh well, let's be patient. We're patient. Real patient. Finally, 6 pm rolls around and things look as if they're going to start. We also notice that at one point a taller blond woman, a shorter blond woman and two kids cross the otherwise blocked-off street and I look at the face of the taller woman and realize...ha, it's Susie. So, well, the family is here! Later Maryanne spies Wally over behind the stage set up on Ontario a bit further down the street from us. It isn't long before we see Eric's big hair and oh, yes, that's Jim. So we have the three Berries we were expecting present and accounted for.

This is a good thing, because it's about all we're going to see of them tonight.

The local radio personalities get up on stage and welcome everyone and soon are introducing our boys with a lengthy written introduction in which Jimmy Ienner has magically become Jimmy "Lenner." Oh well. When they are introduced, BAM! On comes the video for GATW. The resolution on this big screen is poor so it's hard to judge the quality other than to say the band sounds great and it's a joy just to hear them again. When it's over there is much cheering and whistling and noisemaking from us and the rest of the crowd, as there is when the boys are introduced on the stage. Eric wishes everyone Happy Holidays. Not a whole lot else is said. A bunch of politicos get introduced (the mayor and suchlike) and fortunately they have the presence of mind not to make any speeches. Then around our corner in his sleigh and with a passel of female elves comes...SANTA! Santa stands around and pretends to sing about three carols and eventually he goes up on stage and he and the Berries and the officials "light the tree." (This tree, unlike the first one in 2004, has not succumbed to high winds.) Everyone's happy. The Berries disappear with Santa on his sleigh or on the next wagon in the parade (on which we notice la famille Carmen has hitched a ride, along with I don't know who else) and they are gone. We don't even get to see them go by in the parade, because despite being grand marshals, they apparently don't actually get on and ride anything until AFTER our point of the street. Boo!

So, we have a great vantage point for the parade, most of which consists of horse-drawn carriages and wagons pulled by everything to Clydesdales (which can move astoundingly quickly--I guess that's why they often pulled fire wagons!) to Percherons to Shetland ponies both large and small. The tiny ones are only slightly bigger than my bigger cat, and I wish I could take one home.

Don't get me wrong, all this is fun, but I wanted to see my Berries. They are not coming around to our part of the parade route. And it looks as if we will see no more video of them this night either. When the parade is over and the impressive fireworks display (which we also admittedly have a good view of) is finished, the screen just starts playing sponsor credits again like it was for a large chunk of the time before the whole thing started. No more Raspberries. So after about ten minutes we dispersed with the rest of the crowd and went home.

OK, so we want to know: what was the deal? It was a nice event but it was nothing like it was sold to be in terms of getting to see parts of the DVD. We saw one song--that was it. So those of you who couldn't make it out for this event really don't need to feel too bad; you didn't miss that much. For me there was a lot of pride just seeing the guys out there honored like this, but there should have been more to it, much more.

The 11 pm news hasn't shown here yet, so I can't report on that now, but I did look at my tape of the Channel 3 coverage and it's kind of amusing. You can see a bit of the big screen with GATW in it, and it's quite funny because GATW forms a musical backdrop for one whole segment of the show in which the reporter on the scene is describing not only what's happening live while she's on air, but other activities downtown, including skating on the polymer rink over at the science center. All this time, GATW is playing in the background, and she even admits she can't hear herself talk. Later on, you get to see Santa again and if I'm not mistaken if you look carefully you can just see the guys disembarking from the stage. But as far as the footage from that half-hour goes, that's it. I'm also going to watch at 11 and see what we come up with. I also saw a van from Channel 5 so I plan to flip over and see what they might have as well (sorry Jeff).

Anyway, I'll let you know. But truth be told, while I enjoyed being there, those of you who weren't did not miss much in terms of seeing the guys, because there wasn't that much of them to be seen.

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Thanks, Trindy. At least you got to see The Raspberries. I wasn't there. It seems like it was backward from the original plan. I thought it was the parade first. Introductions next, and credits to the sponsors. Tree lighting; fireworks. Then the five songs on the big screen. It's almost like everyone just ran to downtown and played it by ear? There must have been some party afterwards or something. Or, everyone was already partying. I know one of the people from the sponsor G.E., because he and his family just moved to Ohio from Southern California, for a job promotion, about five or six months ago.

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Hi Trindy, Scott and I just got home from the festivities and just wanted to say that it was great meeting you and your cousin. We had a terrific time talking with you about "OUR" guys and reliving some fond memories. We don't get Cleveland stations down here, but I am going to click on the Cleveland Plain Dealer in the morning and see if there is any thing there worth sharing. You did a bang up job reporting what we "got" to see. Although it wasn't exactly what we expected I do have to say that my heart did skip a beat when I spotted them across the street!!! And that brief glimse made the trip worthwhile. I agree the video on the jumbo tron was not the best quality. (AND SHORT4 SONGS) I guess we just have to be patient and wait for the DVD to be realeased. We all better get 2. I have a feeling we'll be wearing the first one out.!!! laugh Again let me say it was neat chatting with you. I hope we get to hang out again in the NEAR future!!! Happy Holidays... Maryanne

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Being a Clevelander, I half expected this holiday event to be exactly as Trindy describes it. A lot of promise, with little delivery. I guess that's called poor organization. I didn't attend the festivities, but scanned the 10pm news on WJW for coverage...imagine, the parade marshalls are "The Raspberries, with Cleveland's own,Eric Carmen!" Yep...that's how they said it! I guess the other guys are out-of-towners!

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Maryanne, same here! It was great to meet you and Scott regardless!

I don't know whether this was an example of typical Cleveland event disorganization or not, but hey, at least nothing caught fire that wasn't supposed to. River didn't catch fire, mayor's hair didn't catch fire, no Raspberries caught fire...

I did hear that last year people were annoyed because they kept getting chased away from places on the parade route and told they couldn't stand there, so maybe this is typical...at least we didn't have that problem.

I checked the 11 pm news (forgot about Fox 8, which is at 10--but from what Bernie says I guess it's just as well). It wasn't that hard, as the Channel 5 news was late due to the USC game. Channel 3 had more coverage but no more Raspberries. Channel 5 had a tidbit but no Raspberries, although they did mention that the boys were the grand marshals. So, nothing there.

I've got the Channel 3 news on this morning, but my hopes are not high.

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Go to www.Raspberriesonline.com click 'video' of Wally and Jim interview, plus "Go All The Way" from the event. (Wow!!!, and I was there, too!) Great job, everyone, and Mark Linett(spelling?), the final CD sound mixer. That will take you to the second video page. I'm not sure that channel 3 filmed the whole parade, or did they do coverage "here-and-there", and "now-and-then?"

Trindy, you might have had some of the best seats, minus seeing the parade. If you were farther down the street, you would have had to walk back, and hopefully seen what I thought was the end, put at the beginning (The tree lighting, introductions, the video, and Santa singing carols with the elves, etc.) And it looks like the parade wasn't going to start or end where you were at. I thought it would end before the square myself. But, I guess they could have ended there, too, where you were hoping to see them in the parade.

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Thanks, Trindy, for your detailed report. I'm sorry that you didn't get to see the boys in the parade, but it's great that you at least got to see them and that GATW did make it to the jumbotron. I'll bet the sound was fantastic!

These things rarely go as advertised or even as planned, especially when politicians and media get involved. BUT, I'm so glad that Raspberries were recognized and honored and that Wally and Jim were interviewed by Jeff Maynor.

This whets our appetites even more for the big release in the Spring. It's gonna be a great Spring!

smile --Darlene

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To everyone who attended the event as well as those online looking for some great Winterfest highlights - believe me when I tell you that everyone associated with the band was very disappointed and frustrated with how the Winterfest event was organized and how the events of the day unfolded...needless to say things didn't go as the event planners told us they would.

But we'll try to make it up to you - so stay tuned in the next few days to both raspberriesonline.com and EC.com for some great Winterfest photos and videos...AND excerpts from the live DVD that you'll only see here!

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You know what I love about Christmas, all the lights on the houses, the lighted hge ornaments on the lawns and driveways.

People "Go All The Way", to decorate a whole court for people to take pictures, donations are helped to help pay for hydro and the children's

Wish Foundation.

It's pretty cool when the lights are reflected off the snow.

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