In recent years, we have tried to include a little local Ann Arbor interest, with rooms based on the Ann Arbor Street Fair, or the deer cull. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival used to be called Top of he Park, so Jurassic Top of the Park made perfect sense for our live entertainment venue.
Thursday, December 31, 2020
A Tale of Two Forts
Visionaries. In 1995, childhood friends Zach London and Dave Fernandes took a tour a haunted corn maze in Warwick, Rhode Island. They knew they had found something special, but it wasn’t special enough. The scratchy cornstalks and unwanted spookiness detracted from an otherwise meaningful experience.
On the way back to their car, the two of them stopped in front of a blanket that the farmer had hung out to dry. At the exact same moment, they came up with the idea for Fortress Party.
Figure 1. Zach (left) and Dave (right) simultaneously coming up with the idea for
Fortress Party while standing in front of an incidental blanket.
That week, they both dropped out of charm school and registered the name “Fortress Party” with the Rhode Island comptroller’s office. They took out a small business loan and bought a house together. A house with matching workshops.
Figure 2. Best friends forever! Not likely.
Artistic differences. Zach felt that a light, durable material such as bedsheets would make the ideal building blocks for the fortress. Dave became convinced that a true fortress needed to be built up from the ground, rather than down from the ceiling. He insisted that cardboard boxes were the fortress substrate of choice.
The business relationship deteriorated into name-calling and atomic noogies. The two have not spoken since. Yet, they have continued to live in the same house.
Zach married Lauren, who helped him retain the legal rights to the Fortress Party name. They hired the top linen architects to design the world’s greatest sheet maze, and invited everyone they knew. Everyone except Dave.
Figure 3. Fortress Party 1995. Everyone other than Dave was there.
Bitter but undeterred, Dave retreated to his workshop for a whole year. When he finally emerged, BOX PARTY was born.
For 22 years, it has been held on the same night as Fortress Party, in Dave’s half of the house. Each year, the rivals switch off who gets to use the front door, so that the two labyrinths never overlap. That is, until this week, when a Fortress Party staff member accidentally hung sheets in this uncharted hallway…
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
The badge game was most popular with Scarlett's ambitious friends, one of whom got all 26 badges.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020