Mermaid Costume Police

Awhile back we found ourselves without a mermaid costume for the first time in eight years. We quickly got a new one, but it got us thinking about how many costumes have disappeared over the years. Probably at least 20.

One of the funnier stories about missing costumes involves the ones we actually got back.

Several years ago, some ladies stole several costumes from the Sandbar in Ottawa. A Sandbar family member- I think it was Peach's brother Patrick, if I'm wrong, sorry to whoever's not getting credit here- found out who it was, and heard through the grapevine that these ladies would be at a wedding reception with the costumes.

Patrick played detective (not hard in a small town) and found out when and where the reception was. And he showed up. He walked in to the reception, saw the women all dressed up in the mermaid costumes and promptly demanded them back.

They refused.

That's right, they refused to give back costumes they had stolen from us. Patrick then suggested that he call the local police to settle the matter. The women finally gave in and gave up the costumes.

And that's how we got back at least a couple of our stolen treasures.

(This story is as accurate as I can remember it. Please don't steal our stuff.)

Sandbar Resolutions

Happy 2011! We're excited about the new year and all the things we want to do. Here's just a few things on our radar. We'll call them resolutions, but they're really just some things on our list that we want to accomplish.

1. Rebuild the hurricane machine

  • The hurricane has been running since 2002, can you believe it? And it's time to upgrade our setup. In fact, we have to- we have a new video to add, but our current system can't quite handle it.
  • Of course, Dave also wants to add more- more wind, more lightning, more everything.

2. A new hurricane video

  • We have one new video to add, but it's really not totally new. It's recycled footage from some older videos, which means it will be new to most of you.
  • You might remember last August when we had a hurricane video contest. Our winner, Kim, has been patiently waiting for months for her video clip to debut, and we want to make her a star as soon as possible. Don't worry, we'll get a brand new video done soon.

3. The biggest, most over-the-top St. Patrick's Day float ever

  • You all know we try to outdo ourselves every year on St. Patrick's Day. This year will be no exception. It will be hard to top last year's castle, but not impossible. 

4. Find something fun to do with our upstairs space

  • We have a beach upstairs, but it doesn't get much use. We don't have many options; the upstairs space doesn't increase our capacity and we're still limited to 49 people according to fire code. But surely there's something we can do up there that would be fun. Suggestions welcome!

There's a few of our goals for 2011. I'm sure we'll have many, many more.

What goals or resolutions do you have for the new year? We'd love to hear them! Leave us a comment, and in a few days we'll put together a list for the blog.

Sandbar Hurricane Video #4

The fourth Sandbar hurricane video made its debut in 2005. We said farewell to the local studio and went off on our own to film this one. The studio was great, but we're not professionals (obviously) and trying to deal with teleprompters and filming segments out of order just confused us.

We experimented with a "green screen." The idea was to drop in a cool background, but we didn't know what we were doing so we just left it green. It's kind of a funny joke to us now.

This video was the first to feature Phil as King Neptune in front of our giant fish tank. If you look closely, you can see Dave in the upper left corner, reflected in the fish tank. Former mayor Marty makes his fourth appearance in the hurricane video as he rides to the Sandbar on his Harley to warn us of the imminent danger. Notice, also, the former facade of the Sandbar.

This video starred Dave and Debbi as the anchors. It was also our first experiment with the news crawl across the bottom of the screen- be sure to read those, they're funny. We made up silly stuff about our staff and some regular customers.

Patrick gave up his role as a hurricane expert, and instead traveled to Bongo Bongo to speak with a real hurricane expert. Coleen reprised her role as the local weather girl, until an unfortunate lightning incident. Former bartender Chris serves as a celebrity news reporter and interviews Fabio (aka bartender Blair).

For the first time, we filmed the Sandbar dance so customers can follow along. Bartender Heather performs the dance as the words to the song scroll along the bottom. We made a drinking game out of this: every time Heather pulls her dress down, you take a drink.

Sandbar Hurricane Video #3

In 2003, we filmed our third installment of the hurricane video series. We did a great job of creating a new video each year for the first three years of the attraction. Sorry we've been slackers the last three years!

Video #3 was also filmed at Channel 6 studios in downtown Lawrence. This one's a little blurry- it's the only video that we can't find an actual DVD copy of, but fortunately we'd uploaded the video to YouTube a long time ago. We tried downloading the video from YouTube, and we also tried filming the video directly from the computer monitor, and this is the best quality we can get.

This video stars Dave, Debbi and former Lawrence mayor Marty Kennedy as the anchors; bartender Coleen as the local weather woman; and an assortment of Sandbar staff and friends in our newly created "safety segment"- a feature with tips on what not to do during a hurricane.

A real celebrity makes an appearance in this video. When we went to Nashville to record our very own Sandbar song (also making its first appearance on this video), we bumped into Richie McDonald, lead singer of the country band Lonestar, in the recording studio. He graciously lent his face & voice to us for the video.

Watch out! Here comes the hurricane!

Love Shack, Baby

A long time ago, some of the Sandbar crew wrote revised lyrics to "Love Shack" and recorded a new song. We played it after the hurricane dance for awhile, but the song faded into obscurity and we forgot all about it.

Recently we were attempting to organize our hurricane video collection and discovered a recording of the song at the end of our 2002 hurricane video. Since you probably didn't watch all 15 minutes of that video- yes, 15 minutes!- we made a separate video with just the "Love Shack" clip just to make sure you didn't miss this glorious piece of poetry. And the bloopers- you can't miss the bloopers.

On the vocals: Scott aka "Showtime" and Peach, with help from Coleen, Debbi and Dave. Listen carefully to the lyrics; they're about the Sandbar, with some inside jokes sprinkled in for fun.

Sandbar Hurricane Video #2

Our first hurricane video ran for awhile, and then we moved up in the world and hired the local TV station to create our next one back in 2002.

Our stars moseyed down the street to Channel 6 studios and tried to be professional. We probably failed miserably, but we had fun doing it. At least we didn't get kicked out of the studio.

Hurricane video #2 starred a whole host of local celebrities:

  • Sandbar Dave and his wife Debbi as the anchors
  • Tom Conroy, owner of Kaspar's Pub (now Conroy's Pub) and Peach's brother
  • Patrick Conroy, Peach's other brother
  • Patty Kennedy, posing as a local real estate agent
  • Pat Mushrush as our "man on the street"
  • Gary Bartz, owner of Don's Steakhouse
  • Al Hack, local insurance agent
  • Marty Kennedy, former mayor of Lawrence
  • Sue Hack, former mayor of Lawrence

Warning: this video is LONG. It featured our original hurricane song at the end- a revised version of Copa Cabana, sung by Scott "Showtime" Schoenberger, Peach, and Larry Hofmeier. While loading this video, we discovered a hidden track-our revised version of Love Shack that rolls during the credits, along with a few bloopers. This song didn't stick around very long, so many of you might not remember it, or maybe you never even heard it. Frankly, we forgot about it and were pleasantly surprised we still had a recording of it.

Get ready, Lawrence- this is going to be a BIGGER one!

(Note: the original video, in all its glory and including the full length of the storm, was over 15 minutes long. Yes, 15 minutes! I cut out the storm portion for your viewing pleasure and it saved about a minute of boring storm footage. You're welcome.)