> Saturday was the busiest day of Porc Fest - it seems a shame that so
> many people, especially those most involved with NH, had to rush away
> for the Liberty Dinner. Next year, I don't plan to attend the dinner
> if it conflicts with the Saturday activities. Friday night, like in
> 2004, seemed to work better.
I've heard this complaint from a few people, and I want to address it.
In 2004 the Liberty Dinner was originally scheduled on a Saturday
night, but as a favor to the FSP PorcFest organizers I moved it to
Friday night. When I did so, I specifically said that the 2005 edition
would be on Saturday night. Thus, the notice of a full year was given,
and every attempt was made to avoid conflict -- both on the part of
myself and Varrin, this year's Czar. Some conflict proved impossible
to avoid, due to problems of distance and verbose speakers.
I attempted to locate the 2005 dinner closer to Lancaster, but there
are less than a dozen rooms in the state that can accommodate 200
people, and most of those are in the Manchester area. There's only two
close to Lancaster, at the Whitefield and the Mt. Washington Hotel. I
investigated these options, and found these sites tremendously
expensive. I can have the 2006 dinner there, if you don't mind the
price of your tickets being $100 each. There was an affordable option
right in Lancaster that I really wanted to use -- the Dayspring
facility -- but unfortunately it closed last Spring.
Now, here's the bottom line: though it was through the FSP that I came
to be in New Hampshire, I work for the NHLA. In my role as the Liberty
Dinner coordinator, it's my job to do whatever is best for the NHLA.
While it may be better for some FSPers to have the Liberty Dinner on
Friday night, the truth is that is horrible for native NHers. Think
about it: the people who live in the seacoast or Monadnock or Merrimack
Valley; they get off from work at 5 pm -- how are they going to make a
dinner in Plymouth at 6 pm?
This is why I scheduled the 2004 dinner on a Saturday -- moved it as a
favor -- but insisted the 2005 edition be on a Saturday. And it paid
off, as attendance jumped from 135 to 170. Also, had the dinner been
on Friday, there's no way that Ron Paul would have been able to attend
and speak. And I expect that to be the case for virtually all
Given these facts, I fully expect the 2006 dinner will be held on
Saturday evening. Expect it to be so, as it is to overwhelming benefit
to the NHLA for it to be so.
Having said that, there's a few things that could be done to minimize
conflict between the Liberty Dinner and Porc Fest:
1) Porc Fest could move further south. If it moved closer to Plymouth,
then the Liberty Dinner could be held at the university again. If it
moved even further south, near the Concord area, the Liberty Dinner
could be held at the Concord Marriott.
2) The Dayspring facility could re-open, allowing the Liberty Dinner a
reasonably-priced option in Lancaster.
3) Porc Fest events could be split between Friday and Saturday,
wrapping up by 3 pm Saturday afternoon. This would allow the Porc Fest
attendees to make it to the dinner with time to spare.
I'm very open to other suggestions, and will of course be happy to
coordinate with the 2006 Porc Fest Czar. However, moving the dinner to
Friday night -- which would inevitably drive down attendance figures
and thus the amount of money raised -- is simply not an option.