The weather man said it would be a lovely mild Summer’s day, so why is it raining on your beautifully prepared alfresco picnic table? Ah, the weather, such a fickle friend. But we’re in Ireland, so we’ve done this before.
You can’t let the whims of Mother Nature prevent you from experiencing the joys of entertaining in the great outdoors. In the event the sky fills with dark clouds, cover all your bases with a Plan B, and keep it from raining on your parade.
Weigh up your options in advance: is there space to shelter close by? Could you use a community centre, church hall or school at short notice? Maybe even somebody’s garage?! Could you fit a marquee in your space? Many people will have this kind of stuff gathering dust in their shed, so be sure to ask around to see what resources you have should the need arise. If you don’t have much available you could hire a marquee or even pass around a hat to buy one. See it as an investment for more rain, hail or shine gatherings in the future. Tarps are another great option. Use rope to tie them to trees, beams or posts to cover the main gathering area.
Now don’t be disheartened if you do need to relocate, once your guests have a cuppa in hand they’ll forget it ever happened.
Embrace it: As a nation of wellie wearers, we’ve all had a bit of craic in the rain before. So why not make the most of it? Get out your waterproofs and bunker under a brolly with your neighbours. It’s the perfect opportunity to break the ice with our national pastime – discussing the weather.
For the more adventurous of you, well, you’re probably soaking wet already. So water fights aren’t much of a stretch and, in fact, couldn’t be more fitting. Puddle-jumping and water-bombing are the obvious choices, just be sure to carefully pick up any litter afterwards. To avoid the extra waste from water-bombs, we suggest drenching your competition in buckets of water or even getting the hose onto them. Set aside dry clothes and towels and go for nuts.
With rain comes rain-proof attire. Hold a competition for the most fabulous or ridiculous water-proof outfits, you could even put on some tunes and make have a cat walk. Be sure to get the Dad’s up there to show you their twirl! Or what about a hat or welly decorating contest? We saw some great ones at the Dublin Mens Shed Street Feast last year! You could do it in the lead-up to Street Feast and judge on the day, or you could have some bits and pieces ready to craft up a storm – pun intended – when people arrive.
The main thing is not to stress too much about the weather. It’s out of your control and there is nothing you can do except be prepared and let nature take its course.
Natalie attended the Fusion Sundays & Our Table Street Feast last year in Newmarket Square Dublin, she had a wonderful day despite the rain.
“Suddenly the sky turned grey and it just poured. Everyone was scrambling to get under cover and squeeze all the food and bodies in. Huddled under the marquee, everyone get much closer much faster than planned, it was a great ice-breaker! When the rain stopped, everyone cheered and got right back to it. I think the rain actually enhanced the day!”