The Feis Food Fight

We’re recovering from the back to back Akron/Cleveland Feis weekend and I was going to try to comment on the Akron Feis since my friend and feis dad What the Feis had his review of Cleveland. However I’m afraid that since our school is the Akron host school and I was a stage monitor I wouldn’t be able to give an unbiased account. The same with the Cleveland Feis which is hosted by our former school and anything I say might seem like sour grapes…..but since I’ve mentioned grapes that does turn my attention to feis food and I think I can offer some fair opinions about that.

First of all I don’t let a little line on a feis syllabus stating no outside food is allowed stop me from packing a cooler. OK I did the first couple of times we feised but after I saw other people bringing food in I figured it was fair game – and less expensive.

Here’s where Akron does it right. Not only do they have a concession stand with reasonably priced food and beverages they also have food trucks out front offering the fair food we all crave. My husband was working the afternoon award table and was teased by parents and dancers bringing armfuls of funnel cakes, tacos in a bag, fries and other greasy goodies to the table only to hand him their dance card and ask for their medals – hopefully he didn’t drool on them too much. Needless to say he was one hungry boy when his shift was done and guess what? There was still food available at 3:30 – which is nice and necessary. Our school had food available for our families as did the feis for its volunteers so I did not get a chance to go to the trucks to price out the fries, etc but I remember them  being reasonable from past years. Feel free to comment if you know differently.

The Cleveland Feis on the other hand is obligated to use the concessions at the Wolestein Center and that makes things more difficult. The first year we attended Cleveland they actually had people going through bags at the entrance looking for contraband food and drinks. They would confiscate the items – including water for the dancer and send you on your way. They haven’t done that since and that was 6 years ago. The concessions historically run out of food items – one year all they had left was nachos by the time we got there – and this year the stand behind our section was closed by 3:00 and the feis was still going strong. The prices are standard arena pricing and the offerings are not only not healthy, they’re but not as yummy as the fair food at Akron. If they are going to offer their standard game day menu at their standard prices they could at least serve beer! Then again it would probably be $8 but by some point in a feis day I’d gladly pay it.  The Cleveland Feis is a long day and the organizers should be able to negotiate with the venue to have a least half of their food stands stay open if for nothing else for beverages for tired dancers and their families.

So we’re off to Detroit in a few days where they sell Harp and Guinness and have reasonably priced food. Not that it’s all about the food but it sure helps!

Til next time – Slainte!

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