Jennifer: Drink, Dash And Drop The Cash….Holiday Mart 2009

This past weekend, most men in Kansas City may have been stuck fending for themselves as wives, girlfriends, mothers and daughters made a pilgrimage to Holiday Mart 2009.

This annual event, organized by the Junior League of Kansas City, MO, is a sort of Burning Man for KC craft lovers, stuff collectors and hoarders.
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6 Responses to Jennifer: Drink, Dash And Drop The Cash….Holiday Mart 2009

  1. Anonymous says:

    Burning Man is an awesome commerce-free stimulating art fair in the desert outside of Reno. It’s eco-friendly, a leave-no-trace obsessive pure community that picks up every piece of tinsel, feather or floss. Artists, including my friends from LA, produce mammoth art cars, for free viewing. Nothing small about that. Most of all, Burning Man’s 48,000 artists and eco-fans agree to operate a gifting economy,not even barter–it’s pure generous gifting. You can NOT buy anything at all, save for coffee and ice: for 8 days! Run out of gas? Better hope someone will be generous and donate some or tow you 110 miles to civilization. Whereas THIS Junior League Holiday Mart event is all about commerce. Selling chatchkes and making money, to perpetuate the illusion, that the economy is just fine. So, sorry Jennifer: I think borrowing the patina of a national treasure, BurningMan, was an insult. They are polar opposites.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tracy, I don’t think Jennifer intended to make a direct, literal comparison between Holiday Mart and Burning Man. Thank you for sharing information on Burning Man, for those of us who were unaware of it.

    It’s a proud accomplishment, that Holiday Mart can impact the local economy through the 4-day event, as well as the small business owners who come from across the nation to sell their products and services to a captive audience. Commerce is good!

    I assure you, it’s not an illusion that the economy is good, in this case. Traffic and ticket sales were up over last year and the past several years. More than 22,000 shoppers came to Holiday Mart over the four days. Anecdotally, retailers reported the same success and increased spending. Some ran out of products before the Mart’s end, and we have not heard a discouraging word from any business who was part of Holiday Mart.

    I do think that people are shopping smarter and are more on a budget. Higher-end items weren’t as popular, and I think the days of limitless spending and indulgent luxuries are gone for a while. But, that does not signal the end of shopping and contributing money toward community impact.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Also of importance, Tracy – the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri has donated more than $5.5 million to the League’s community projects over the past 22 years.
    Of that, more than $1 million – as well as 1,000+ League volunteers, nearly 30,000 volunteer hours and 720,000 children’s books have gone toward local children’s literacy projects.

    Here, I agree – the events are polar opposites.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I certainly would not dis the League–you do good work!

    I will disagree with you on the economy. We are in a depression that dare not speak its name. Check out Rodney Johnson at the Harry Dent Organization, who advises 650 of the smartest, richest financial planners in the country. He predicted the Long Winter Ahead, five years ago–based on the Japanese model. When boomers all retire en masse they quit shopping. And that was BEFORE the govt. swindled us and bailed out the insider banks. We are FAR from recovery. I’m glad your event went well. But acc. to Springsted, which sells the bonds for most cities, (I was on the Shawnee Council for 5 years), 1 of 8 homes are in foreclosure,already, and then with commercial real estate, 25% are under water, going to 30% soon. UNDERemployment is 16% and climbing, (that’s on top of classic “unemployment” which under-reports small businesses because they are out of that system.

    All the little shopowners will be leaving those strip malls all over Johnson County–and the country. (I witnessed it in the Hamptons in September. A retail ghost town.)

    Plausibly, the collapse of retail in strip malls is why they migrated to your holiday mart. Trying to unload excess inventory before a very lean 4th quarter.

    You’ll now I’m right on this trend, when you see thousands of hideous GOB banners and empty strip malls. I’ve warned my City’s planning department–real estate people are desperate.

    This economy is a sinking ship–and that is BEFORE Congress decimates health care and jacks up our utilities by $3500 per household with the Cap ‘n Trade debacle that Dennis Moore voted for–without even reading it. (500 pages jammed onto the bill at 3:07am, he voted at 2pm then jumped a plane home, where he refused to meet with any voters in public all summer.

    If I were on your committee, Erin, I’d be very conservative in projecting revenues for next year–because you may have had your last bounce.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tracy, try for your next manifesto. Your efforts to piggyback a poltical/economic rant onto a charitable shopping event story are humorous/transparent and give credence to those – me – who tend to think militant conservatives with a hard on for Obama – you – are nutbags. “I witnessed it in the Hamptons” LOL!!! We are SOOO impressed! How were you ever on any City Council (and PS who cares)? The Mayor of Narcissismtown, maybe.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Banana Rama
    In the interest of further correcting Tracy’s misinformation:

    Retailers have been “flocking” to Holiday Mart for 22 years now. And, not from “JoCo strip malls,” entirely – but rather around the KC area and from across the country. It’s a business booster, not a replacement.

    I feel sorry for the Shawnee Council and your years spent there as Debbie Downer. You should do your homework on traffic, ticket sales and retailers’ sales – before you use words like “depression” – which are without a doubt 100% false in this case.

    Keep “conservative” in your politics, only, Tracy – we’ve been projecting and either meeting or exceeding increases for back-to-back years now. You should start your own blog for your political agenda – rather than weaving it in irrelevantly elsewhere.

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