Play tickets are worth the wait

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Many people wouldn't dream of waiting more than a few minutes in the check-out line at the grocery store. They might not even make the effort to show up a few hours early to hear a popular band.

But local residents continue to break records on how long they'll wait in line to get tickets to Craig's annual Kiwanis play.

And the waiting just seems to just get longer.

Securing a seat for the usually sold-out event may be more fun than the play itself, according to the early birds at the front of the line Friday. About 30 people were already huddling around VFW Post 4265 by 7:30 a.m. despite chilly temperatures.

"It's a party and we never turn down a party," said Shandy Walz, padded in numerous layers of clothing. "It's better than the play."

Walz and a group of friends said they were the first in line Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. when they pulled their recreational vehicle up to the ticket sale site. They hinted they'd shown up earlier than that, but didn't want to disclose the exact arrival time for fear that other campers would be the first in line next year.

Tickets went on sale Friday at 6 p.m. for play performances on March 5 and 6.

Kiwanis member Kirk McKey couldn't remember a time in his 15-year history with the club that residents haven't waited in line to get play tickets.

This year marks Kiwanis' 58th play performance. The play pokes fun at a wide range of community members and make light of the political developments of the preceding year.

Tickets cost $15 each. It's the Kiwanis Club's biggest fund-raising event of the year. Proceeds go toward a high school scholarship, funding for the local Future Farmers of America and transportation for senior citizens.

Standing in line for the event seems to be unavoidable, McKey said.

"For a while we sold tickets at six in the morning but people were starting to camp out overnight," McKey said. "So we changed the time to six at night so people wouldn't have to do that. But it didn't work."

McKey wouldn't say what residents should expect to see at play this year.

That's partly because Kiwanis members haven't hammered out a script yet and because of the general code of secrecy surrounding play fodder.

Despite this, McKey sarcastically proclaimed that the play wouldn't have any reference to, "Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant and the commissioners."

In years past, Kiwanis plays have harped on almost every aspect of Craig's community life, often making quips about town leaders, political organizations or prominent local businesses.

Some memorable skits include Kiwanis members referring to the former Moffat County commissioner T. Wright Dickinson as B. Wrong Cockanddaughter. Other skits have joked about misspellings in this newspaper, labeling the publication the "Kraig Dailee Mess."

If anything, Friday's waiting game was a chance for many to take a day off work and visit with friends. Many propped signs bearing their names on lawn chairs, which snaked around the building and led to the front door.

Groups of people gathered around kerosene heaters, cracking jokes and cans of beer. Garbage cans overflowed with pizza boxes and coffee cups.

"This the best part of the Kiwanis, getting to socialize and see everybody," said Becky Otis.

Otis' birthday was Friday, a fact that one friend remembered by bringing her four cases of beer and a couple balloons.

By 9 a.m. the thermometer read 22 degrees at Chapman Automotive Service Center across the street. That's nice weather compared to sub-zero temperatures residents endured last year to get tickets to the sell-out show.

"It was 27 degrees below zero last year," said Sherrie Ferree. "This year it's warm."

Many people standing in line said they were reserving tables for up to 12 friends. That's OK, because those receiving tickets without the wait will pay up later.

"People who don't stand in line have to buy food and beer for the play night," Otis said.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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