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Around 1.2 million people were there this year — a record. And it was the first time in years the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra attended, on Vet’s Day. The parade was just after mid-day, then I worked the Masonic ID Program, then met up with Merry for the free concert, with a patriotic theme and fireworks, another thing not done in years. (And it was the first time in public I gave the District 12 sign after the Anthem.)

I think I received a record number of comp tickets and parking passes this year. In addition to working the ID Program two days (and a couple hours on another), and manning the Excalibur booth in the Conservation Building two days, my daughter and I gave a presentation for the Western New York Honey Producer’s Association, “30 Things About Honey Bees in 30 Minutes”.

It was the first time Christina and I did public speaking together — and it was awesome. People complimented us and the way we teamed up, and the second time it was more than standing room only, with kids sitting around in all directions, and people standing in clumps at both entrances around all the chairs. Even before it was full, the staff commented that this was the most people they’ve seen attend one of the presentations — this being a new venue in a new building this year.

It was odd that they let us novices put on a show for the WNYHPA, but I suspect no one else wanted to, LOL. We brought our “crate” of supplies we take out to the hives, and showed off (briefly) wearing our protective clothing. The second time, I also brought an empty honey super with frames — a number of kids were disappointed there weren’t any bees.

I also got to have ice cream with my Masonic buddy Brad. It may seem silly, and he’s a bit older than me, but we were like two kids having fun trying not to get in trouble. Some of the rest of the time I worked the ID room (mostly outside herding people in), people approached me about Grand Lodge business. But I did get to hang out afterward with another Masonic friend, Selom, touring the grounds for vendors that might sell wholesale to him for his flea market business.

But I was beat. We covered most of the fair over those days — including my taking a stroll among the tractors in the dark — but it just seemed like work with breaks instead of the other way around. It was fun, and memorable, but I was a bit glad at the end of the week-and-a-half to get back to regular work.