Every year, a series of lemonade stands pop up near me on Make Believe Road. Large groups of cute, competent kids become gainfully employed and proudly contribute to their family’s finances. For some, the added money is meaningless, yet for others its essential to their family’s survival. The lemonade stands come in all different shapes, styles and sizes. Some are custom built, some come from kits, some are rented. All incorporate signage that is designed and fabricated. Of course, there is a freight component to deliver the stands to their designated spaces.
Make Believe Road’s annual Lemonade Lollapalooza attracts thousands to the neighborhood. Many, to quench their need for citrus stay the night in local hotels and when not gulping the yellow liquid gold shop in local stores, eat in local restaurants and the revenue they contribute to the neighborhood association is critical. Between the people taking care of “Lemon Acres” – the main juicy throughway and the individuals involved in all facets of bringing the stands to life, many people are employed.
But now, the neighborhood association must make a determination on the upcoming event in light of the Pandemic. Can the event be held by staggering serving times? Can we expand Lemon Acres to the neighboring Citrus Court so attendees can spread out? Can all Lemonade servers wear masks and be tested? Can the usual seminars of seedless and pulp free have more space between chairs and limited attendance be allowed?
Neither the exhibitors, I mean lemonade concessionaires, nor the attendees, I mean thirsty buyers, want to promote the spread of Covid. But people are hungry for business. Companies are thirsty for juicy new ideas, innovations and gulps of normalcy. The neighborhood association wants, no needs, to bring in the revenue but doesn’t want to spread the virus.
What would you do? We have the lemon; can we make lemonade?
Steve Hoffman, CTSM is President of Skyline Exhibits & Design and Managing Director of Innovative Environments-Southeast. He likes a good summertime beverage.