Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Idyll-Beast at the Los Angeles Times Travel and Adventure Expo

The Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce had a (furry) presence at this year’s “Los Angeles Times Travel and Adventure Exposition”, thanks to their partnership with the Inland Empire Tourism Council. The Council provided a colorful booth featuring images of Inland Empire Tourism, and staffed by a team of well scrubbed professional Pirates courtesy of Our Chamber provided something none of the other exhibitors had: a living, breathing Idyll-Beast.

I was not aware that the inland empire had a pirate problem, but the buccaneers explained to me that there is a local tie-in with the “Pirates of the Carribean” franchise: some of the scenes were actually filmed near Palmdale. The pirates were very welcoming, to the point of adopting the Idyll-Beast as one of their own. The Beast has a very evolved sense of humor and took no offense at their “salty” remarks about “house training” and “furballs.” There may have been a bit of friendly rivalry, as it seems the most delicious looking visitors preferred to have their photos taken with the Idyll-Beast. It is probable that most of them already have pictures of themselves with Pirates.

The Beast handed out postcards (the new ones include an invitation to this summer’s “100th annual Idyll-Beast Festival”) and posed with the more photogenic visitors. He is getting to be quite skilled at answering questions, and was able to point curious attendees to the stack of Visitors Guides and other attractive propaganda supplied by local chamber members. The postcards and visitor guides disappeared as fast as I could replenish them, so there is reason to hope that people are ready to hear our message. They certainly are ready to embrace the Beast.

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