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Things We Love: Round II of the Street Circus of Creativity

24 Aug

“Crazy, fun, weird, appalling, an interesting befuddlement ” are words that are used when describing the Boise Curb Cup.  Last year, I helped prepare for and kick off the inaugural Boise Curb Cup as an intern (Red Sky was on board for pro bono PR support) , never expecting a quirky and fun idea to evolve into massive talent-pool phenomena.  Curb Cup was so entertaining that I’m helping out again this year. If you’ve never experienced the Boise Curb Cup, let me try to fit an explanation of something so fantastical into a small paragraph.

The Boise Curb Cup brings all aspects of Boise’s society together and demonstrates that Boise is truly a diverse and culturally accepting community. Walking up and down the streets of Boise Curb Cup you can feel the energy of the performers and their acts. Whether it is children performing karate to Michael Jackson’s Thriller (last year’s winners!), pet owners showing off amazing animal tricks or burlesque dancers sashaying for the crowd, there is no lack of passion in each performance. Boise Curb Cup is truly an experience that will leave a lasting impact not only on the performers, but the curious street strollers as well.

Don’t think you have a talent to share? No problem, you can still play an integral part in the Boise Curb Cup. You have the power to vote for the winner. Tokens will be given out at “Curb Cup” stations downtown. Place a token in the performer’s “bucket” and the performer with the most tokens wins the grand prize of $1000!

Photos courtesy Skyler Simmons, Daniel Bertrand, Seth Lemmons

What better place to bring the family than beautiful downtown Boise on a lovely summer’s day? It’s an opportunity for you, family and friends to experience the true magnificence and talent the people of Boise possess. It doesn’t hurt that the event is also free of charge!

So gather your family, friends and a fully charged camera on August 29th from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Who knows, maybe you will be inspired to strut your stuff at the 2011 Boise Curb Cup.

See you there, Curb Cuppers!

– Gloria Miller

Things We Love: Bucket Lists, Embracing Our Backyard

15 Jul

One of our entrepreneurial clients shared his thoughts that work-life balance isn’t really what he’s striving for with his staff – it’s work-life passion. Enjoying, embracing and exploring those activities and adventures that add fulfillment beyond what you do with that computer, at your desk or in the name of clients or bottom lines. As we grow Red Sky we are constantly looking for ways to showcase and live out our passions as part of  daily lives. Working on our revamped website we’ll be including a ‘Things We Love’ section (thanks for the inspiration Bailey Gardiner & CarewCo!) and sharing more of our work-life passion through our blog. First up, Alena Shea & the progress she’s making on her bucket list & embracing all the adventure our home state has to offer.

With so many great recreational opportunities held in the Treasure Valley each year, it’s easy to forget about the rest of Idaho. I have come to realize (and remember in some cases) the countless options that await me outside of Ada and Canyon counties.

For example, here are a few of my favorite places/events around our state:

  • Twin Falls is home to the gorgeous Snake River Canyon. Made famous from a fellow Butteite, Evel Knievel, who attempted to jump the canyon in 1974.
  • Shoshone Falls, just north of Twin Falls. If you haven’t been, put this on your bucket list (more on bucket lists in a minute) it truly is amazing to see.
  • Bear Lake Raspberry Days where you can get the BEST raspberry shakes ever. Honestly, nothing compares to a Bear Lake Raspberry Shake – just ask the thousands of visitors who attend Raspberry Days each year.  While you’re there, be sure to rent some jet skis or just hang out on the North Shore beach.
  • Lava Hot Springs Mineral Springs. Or, as the locals (yes, I used to be an Eastern Idahoan) call them, “Hot Pots”.  There is nothing quite as relaxing after a day spent water skiing or snow skiing than to sit in the hot pots and reward your muscles for working so hard.

Bucket List – Where it all started.

My last semester of college at Boise State University, I enrolled in a Public Relations Promotions class taught by Sam Harmer, an adjunct professor who works at Lexar Media.  Sam was adamant that we have “real world” experiences during class in order to really “get” what it means to be in PR.  After dissecting a slew of “real world campaigns” we developed our own campaign with Bogus Basin Mountain Resort.  Our class successfully boosted Bogus Basins student season pass sales (December 2008) with the “real world” Guerilla PR Campaign we developed. Sam shared his bucket list with us and soon thereafter, we were assigned to develop our own bucket list. During our final class we went around the room and shared what we each had come up with.  Swimming with dolphins, learning to surf, owning my own business were just a few of the things that made my classmates lists.

Number 23 on my list: Hot Air Balloon Ride – I am happy to say, I just updated my excel spreadsheet, (I am “Type A” remember? ) reflecting I had accomplished #23 at the Teton Valley Summer Festival.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

My pilot Mona, has been flying for more than 21 years. Her love for hot air balloons started when she was asked to take some photos of a flight. From there, she decided that she wouldn’t be behind the camera, she want to be manning the burners of a hot air balloon.  I had such an incredible time on my flight. The view of Teton Valley is breathtaking. The sun rising over the Tetons, the beautiful blues of the sky and the other hot air balloons decorating the view, it was extraordinary.

When my flight was over Mona, Linda (a wonderful gal from Idaho Falls who attends the Festival every year) myself and the rest of the flight crew deflated the balloon and headed back into town.  Once we arrived back at the launching site, Mona opened a bottle of champagne and we all toasted to my first flight. She made me a little souvenir and gave my a flight certificate that reads:

The sun has blessed you with its warm hands, you have flown so high and so well, that God has joined you in your laughter and set you gently back into the loving arms of Mother Earth

What great way to celebrate my first flight!  This adventure is something I will never forget.

Teton Valley Summer Festival

This was the 29th year of the annual Teton Valley Festival in Driggs, Idaho. Driggs is the kind of small town you see in movies. Everyone knows everyone, and they are the most genuine, hardworking, civic-minded people you could ever hope to meet.  For example, Ruby Parsons, Chair of the Seniors as well as Commissioner and Chair of the Fire Protection District for Teton County welcomes all visitors of the Valley to breakfast with the Seniors at the Fairground Building.

The Eastern part of our state is simply breathtaking. After my time spent in Driggs, I decided to take the scenic route home: from Driggs to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, then along the Snake River, (where my family used to raft) to Palisades Reservoir; where I learned how to knee-board, water ski, how to perfect a “yard sale”, how to drive a boat and make a mean figure eight to dump tubers.

New Additions to the Bucket List

I continually add more to my Bucket List; living in Idaho makes that super easy to do. These are just a few items I have recently added to my list:

All right folks, what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and start jotting things down. Before you know it, you will have your very own Bucket List.

– Alena

Travel and Tech – how it’s changed and how it’s the same

22 Dec

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Augustine

This has always been one of my favorite quotes. I use it frequently to justify to my more financially conservative family members the amount of my household budget that I spend traveling every year. But as our traveling habits are increasingly impacted and enhanced by new opportunities to connect, share and influence it seems more apropo. If traveling opens our eyes to a full novel of experiences, then our increasingly technologically connected world provides Cliff Notes for every page and chapter.

Travel is an inherently shared experience. Even if you travel somewhere solo – the adventure is enhanced and relived as you share it with others after the fact. What technology has done is close the loop on that experience. Not only are you able to share your adventure to one or many immediately (or even in real-time if you prefer) – you can share it before you even have it and change the experience before it happens.

Through a colleague, I connected with a writer for the AP working on how ‘Social Networking is Changing the Way We Travel’ – how it has gone beyond posted reviews of hotels to the push and pull of travel recommendations through Twitter, Facebook and more.

Outside of Facebook and Twitter feeds, there are a plethora of social media channels that are platforms for those existing sites, or completely new experiences. A few to check out:

  • Twisitor – Learned of this aggregator through the AP piece. It pulls together all of the tourism centers and visitors bureaus on Twitter into one map for easy following depending on your travels. Yes, they have the ulterior motive of making sure you enjoy your travel 🙂 but they are great resources.
  • Everlater – Fairly new social media travel site – think of it as an online travel journal on steroids. And the addition of the iPhone application that allows for easy journal entries on the go is a huge bonus. I’m obsessed with tracking elements of our trip and then easily sharing on my other sites (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) and this allows me to sync and share easily between them. Follow them on Twitter for the latest updates as they refine their platform.
  • TripIt – For those of us that need ‘trip packets’ when we travel – I consider this the Type-A traveler’s friend. I’m trying this one out on my next trip to see if it enhances my experience of getting where I’m going with less stress and more organization. With a value statement of ‘Build Your Itinerary, Get Organized, Stay Informed’ – I’m hoping it can help!
  • Foursquare – Have to admit, I haven’t drunk the kool-aid for this one yet. But any application that encourages people to discover the adventures available in their own backyard is a good thing. There are some Foursquare addicts and top cities out there (unfortunately – Boise isn’t one yet). I’m holding off before jumping in the pool on this one.

I still rely pretty heavily on Twitter – both push and pull of information – and Facebook to influence where I wind up on my travels. In the article, Mary Madden of Pew summed up perfectly why – “People start to rely on those trusted portals that help sift the cream from the top. Otherwise people would be overwhelmed by information by doing research on line.”

Soul of Skiing VideoAnd lastly, an example of interaction and innovation in the travel industry. Full disclosure – we work with Ski Idaho, helping to promote and showcase the 17 ski areas throughout the state. In the past two years the organization has expanded its share of voice online and raised the profile of skiing in Idaho through various social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It’s allowed us to better share the experience of skiing and riding in the Gem State. The next step launched this week with Idaho Olympian Jeret ‘Speedy’ Peterson sharing his love for the soul of skiing with the world through an interactive, personalized promotional video – a partnership between Ski Idaho, Idaho Tourism and its ad agency Drake Cooper. Besides hearing from Speedy and seeing a whirlwind overview of great skiing destinations across the state, logging in to check out the video enters you to win a heli-ski trip or one of four Idaho ski vacations. Check it out and let us know what you think!

– Jess

(Have to give props to a fellow travel PR professional and partner Lisa Gerber of Big Leap Creative, whose guest blog post was featured by BurrellesLuce as part of their 2010 Predictions for Media Relations)