| Our third annual AoS-fest was almost "the one that wasn’t". As has happened in the past two years,
I had all intentions of having it earlier in the year. However, work, family, other interests and life in general seems
to always push it out to year’s end. This year was no different. For the same reasons, it wasn’t until around the end
of summer that I even had time to begin pondering where and when to put this one together. I asked around and solicited
the opinions of past AoS-fest attendees as to where we should have and when would be best for all. The first one…”where”…was
answered fairly easily and quickly. Most folks said they’d prefer a site that was easier for all people along the East Coast
to attend…something slightly more northward than Louisville, the site of the first AoS-fest. The good folks at Five Points Skateboards
stepped forward and offered to help host it in their own backyard of Columbus, Ohio at the nearby Athens skatepark. Athens is a college
town offering plenty to do and has a great skatepark to boot. That seemed to make everyone happy, so that was that….Ohio it was!
| Now, "when" to have it was the big question. Like I said, it was late in July before I even began to plan,
and time was ticking. August was too close by then to organize anything, and I was worried that too late in the year Ohio would be a
bit too cold. Therefore, the first idea was thrown out for the end of September. Things were moving in that direction. However, I was
just starting a project in Phoenix, Arizona around that time and was busy with other *real work* stuff going on in my life. So, September was
not so good for me (and several others who were equally planned out for September). The next best bet then was October….and I made
the "executive" decision that sometime in the first of or mid-October would be best. Again, I solicited some opinions, and it was
decided that the weekend of October 22-23 would work best. So that was it….AoS-fest 3 was set.
| Unlike last year though, I did not publicize it all that much. Sure I posted it on the site and on a collector’s forum,
but that was pretty much it. Also, last year, I had the great, volunteered help of Lucius "LUSH" Carroll in contacting companies and securing
some great swag as well as communicating directions, places to stay, etc. to everyone. I am not so good with that kind of stuff, so this year,
I did not ask too many folks for goodies for giveaways. I was blessed with the help of Five Point Skateboards, though, in getting info on where
to stay, directions, info about the park and other logistics to pass along. Additionally, they threw in some swag as did AZPX and several other
companies (*see the last page for the sponsor list and links!).
| So that was that….AoS-fest 3 was planned for Oct.22-23 in Athens, Ohio. I already expected it to be much smaller than last year with less giveaways,
but I knew that as always, anyone who attended was in for a good time! Good….good….and fine. What more to worry about, right? Well, two things almost
wrecked the plans completely. First off, it turns out that the weekend we chose was also homecoming weekend for the Ohio University football team in Athens. Big deal,
right? We were going to skateboard, not watch football. So what did that mean for us? Well, first off, you could not find a hotel room anywhere within about an
hour’s drive of the town, and secondly, if you did find one, they were charging about $150 and up per night at even the nastiest of roach motels (seriously!
I had one quote me $165/night for a shit hole room, and they wanted me to fax all of my credit card info to secure it!!!). But that wasn't all… we
checked the forecast, and it was predicted that it would rain all weekend. As the Athens skatepark is outdoors, this did not bode well for AoS-fest 3. But never fear!
Five Points Skateboards came through again! They came up with some alternative rain plans in a hurry. It was decided that in the event of rain, we would hold AoS-fest 3
at Ollie's Skatepark in Florence, Kentucky (about the same distance from Columbus as Athens is). At the last minute, I rushed to get out the rain plan news to everyone,
and left it to chance from there. With that, AoS-fest 3 was on again!!!! All that was left to do was make sure we all got there……..