Sandbar Birthday Block Party Today!

Today’s the big day!

We hope you’re planning to join us today for our 21st birthday block party. Even if you can’t make it, you can still see what people are saying about the party on Twitter- in real time- by checking out the TweetGrid below.

Aftermath of the Adult Swim Block Party

What a great night!

Last night was the Adult Swim Block Party in downtown Lawrence, and we were impressed with the crowd that came out on a Monday night! One of the members of the Adult Swim crew told us that their staff estimated attendance of around 4,000. That's amazing, way to go Lawrence!

All day long, downtown Lawrencians watched as giant inflatable characters took over the block of 8th Street between Massachusetts & New Hampshire. The party started around 6 pm with games and prizes and live music to follow.

(Picture below posted on Twitter by Jeff, otherwise known as @webology, friend of the Sandbar)

We were pleased to provide hospitality for The Whigs before their set. They hung out upstairs for awhile, and our fake beach served as their dressing room. They even took a picture of it and posted it on their Twitter account.

A steady stream of customers came through the bar and partied on the patio- it wasn't nearly as crowded as a St. Patrick's Day or our anniversary party last summer, but it was a fantastic crowd for a usually slow Monday night.

I was lame and didn't take any pictures last night, but here's one I found on Twitter that was posted by @johnkary, taken from the patio of the Sandbar:

Adult Swim block party from the Sandbar on Twitpic

The music was over at 10 p.m., the stage was dismantled, and the street cleaned up. These people are professionals- we laughed about how the teardown compared to ours last year after our anniversary party. (Ours took forever. We dawdled and talked and laughed.)

We would love to see this become an annual event. In fact, it would be awesome if downtown Lawrence had a block party every month…

Were you there last night? What was your favorite moment? Email us your pictures or add them to our Facebook fan page


Adult Swim on Twitter

Adult Swim on Facebook

The Whigs on Twitter

The Whigs on Facebook

Social Media and Business at The Sandbar

If you subscribe to the Lawrence Journal-World, or read it online, you might have seen this little article about businesses and social media. It was actually on the front page of the print edition on Sunday!

The reporter called me last week and asked a bunch of questions about what we do and how we do it, with regard to social media. I thought I'd share some of that information here, since news articles always get cut short due to space.

We've had a website for lots of years, along with our famous webcam. Lots of funny stuff happens at The Sandbar, and we started joking about how someday we should write a book. I started learning and hearing about blogs, and eventually decided that if we were serious about a future book, it would be much easier to start small.

This blog was born in September, 2006. As of right now, there are 820 posts- a few are saved drafts, but most of those are published. That's a lot of stories. I don't know if they'll ever be compiled into an actual book, but they'll live on for eternity right here.

When I researched where to set up the blog, lots of people recommended MySpace. Remember, it was the hot thing at the time. I didn't want the blog to be on a site where people had to be members in order to read it, but I decided it would be fun to have a Sandbar MySpace page. We don't do much with that page these days- sorry to those of you who still play there.

We're also big fans of videos. Our indoor hurricane began in 2002, and we've uploaded videos to YouTube for several years. Most of our videos were uploaded to my personal account (since I didn't know any better at the time), but now we also have an official Sandbar YouTube channel

Once I got a little bored with MySpace, Facebook started to hit my radar and I decided to set up a Sandbar page. Only I did it wrong. I didn't have a personal Facebook account at the time and had no idea how it worked, so I ended up creating a profile that people "friended." This is actually against Facebook's Terms of Service, as businesses should have fan pages, not profiles, and people should become fans, not friends. I figured that out, recreated a Sandbar fan page, and here we are. 

Then, Twitter. We joined this micro-blogging site a little over a year ago. It's a nice compliment to the other social media efforts we've made, and Twitter has allowed us to reach out to new people and the community in ways that Facebook or MySpace don't. You can follow us here

That's a little bit about how our business started down the path of social media. It's been fun to learn and we hope our fans enjoy our efforts!

Four Years Ago Today: A Microburst

Were you in Lawrence four years ago?

On March 12, 2006, a strange weather occurrence hit our fair city- the Great Microburst of 2006. It was like a tornado (and many people today still swear it actually was)- in fact, according that knower-of-all-things Wikipedia, the main difference between the two is that microbursts produce divergent winds, while tornadoes generally have convergent damage. Whatever. It’s still freaky-scary.

It was loud, it was windy, and trees and shingles and signs went flying all over town. According to KU Info, the University of Kansas campus lost 100 trees that day- but fortunately 29,425 trees remain.

We asked some of our Twitter followers what they remembered most about that day. Here’s what they had to say:

“It sounded like a train outside my house. I seriously thought I was in a tornado and going to die.”

“I was a freshman but had left for the weekend. Ended up getting caught in an even worse storm in Missouri: 2 tornadoes met right where I was.”

“Woke me up from a dead sleep. Lost part of my roof. Best part: no one was hurt, went outside, and found my house had the least damage around.”

“My boyfriend lived in Templin. His car window got broken out. I think some sort of heating/AC unit fell off the room of the dorm.”

“My boyfriend at the time was in town for our anniversary. The alarms went off in Ellsworth and we had to sit in the dorm basement.”

“All I could see was gray out the window. It sounded like a train.”

“I was a freshman and my pledge brother was driving a random shacker home and all of his windows instantly shattered as if a sign from God.” (OK, I laughed out loud at the random shacker part!)

“Worst memory: Being woken up by shingles being ripped off. Best memory: Getting a brand new roof.”

“Waking up to an uprooted tree hitting my window- and I lived on the 10th floor of Ellsworth Hall so that was definitely not normal!”

“Classes were cancelled the next day and it was like an all-campus party!”

“Lots of broken car windows and Weavers’ awning sitting in front of Liberty Hall.”

“Lived on the 4th floor above Pepperjax; looking down at New Hampshire street and seeing trees bent over to the ground.” 

“Living in Corbin and I had to drive around for hours to charge my phone. Fast food lines were so long. No hot water for a week.”

“Seeing the clouds circling the McDonald’s on 6th Street when I lived a block from there.”

“Seeing part of a street sign off 6th from a place closer to Iowa than Mass lying in front of City Hall.”

“Waking up to violently shaking windows and our chimney being ripped off. Best part was joking about the apocalypse with my mom.”

“We lost two giant windows in our living room- they’re still not quite fixed!”

Lots of memories from this storm!

The Sandbar was fortunate to not have much damage. It seems like the downtown businesses on the east-west streets fared better than those on the north-south streets.

We were in the middle of construction on our annual St. Patrick’s Day float, and it lived in the vacant lot next to Dave’s house. Amazingly, the float had absolutely no damage- not even from the wind!

But about thirty feet away, a huge old tree right next to the house was completely uprooted and fell alongside the house. It took out a few shingles on the way down, but nothing major. If it had fallen at any more of a northern angle, it would have smashed into our bedroom (and probably taken me out!). We did get a new roof out of the deal.

Here’s a video that one of our Twitter friends sent to us:

What do you remember most about that day?

What’s The Best Gift You Gave This Year?

Lots of people talk about the gifts they got for Christmas (or whichever holiday they celebrate this time of year), but you don't hear very many people talking about the gifts they gave to someone else.

I posed the question on The Sandbar's Twitter page last week:

What's the best gift you are giving someone this year?

I got lots of responses from people and they were fun to read! Here are some of them:

  • The Big Buck Hunter game for a boyfriend
  • Homemade banana bread that is now requested every year (can we get some of that?!)
  • A new guitar for a brother
  • Batman Arkham Asylum for a boyfriend
  • A drum set for a 4 year old nephew (uncle is now banished from the family!)
  • The book "For Jayhawk Fans Only" for parents
  • Basketball tickets
  • Sweet shoes
  • My time and patience (might be the hardest of all for some of us!)
  • A Nebraska Cornhuskers snuggie for a stepmom

What about you? Add your favorite gift in the comment section. It doesn't have to be expensive or creative or particularly spectacular…just the one thing you gave someone that was perfect.