Great Films In A Wiener Wonderland!

Film maker Q and A

Flash in the pan

Mad Russian

One unique event that happens in conjunction with the Snake Alley Festival of Film is Cyn-A-Palooza. It’s a family oriented street carnival highlighted by the Annual Pet Parade and the Wiener Dog Races.

This might just be one of the funniest and fun-est (is that a real word?) you’ve ever seen. Betting IS encouraged, with the proceeds benefitting the SPCA.

This is held right around the corner from the Capitol Theater during a lull in the film screenings. This is a “bucket list” event.

The “after party” last night was held at the Drake on the outdoor patio. Talk about ambiance…a very comfortable summer night, the stars, the river…all in sight of a beautiful bridge. Entertainment by “Flash In The Pan,” was “rockin’ da house!” (If you’ve never seen “the Mad Russian” play a fiddle, you must see this.)

Prior to the party, I sat in the theater for the last block of Friday’s screenings. It wasn’t easy finding a seat. The house was packed and it was close to being an SRO event. The Q and A session with the film makers was lively, spirited, and informative.

This year’s awards ceremony features live entertainment and a musical revue. Sorry you couldn’t be here. You missed a fun event.

This festival has grown to three times the size it was last year. In fact, the sightseeing tour had to turn people away. For those of you who didn’t make this year’s fest…lock in the dates for next year. We’re already planning to add more events.

“Yes, We’ve Got Trouble”

Port of Burlington Visitor Center

Port of Burlington Visitor Center

If you’re following the news about the flooding along the Mississippi, you may have noticed that they mentioned the Quad Cities area. Burlington (home of the Snake Alley Festival of Film) is one of those four cities. (Quad means ‘four’ there, Sparky.)

Not to worry, mi amigo. The flooding here will not hamper our production. The show(s) will go on.

But, enough of that for now. It’s time to announce the answers to the Snake Alley Festival of Film trivia challenge. Check your answers to the questions in the last post to see if you’re a winner.

The name of the movie about two con-men was “The Music Man.” The actor who beat Sinatra for the lead role was Robert Preston. This movie made him an A-List Star. His con-man partner was played by comedian Buddy Hackett. The female lead was played by Shirley Jones.

“The Music Man” was written by Iowa native Meredith Wilson. He went by his middle name of Meredith, but his actual first name was Robert. He was born in Mason City, Iowa and “The Music Man” premiered there in 1962. In addition to “The Music Man” he wrote “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and did a production for California’s Centennial and Oregon’s Centennial. He also wrote the University of Iowa’s fight song and Iowa State’s fight song.

Did you get all of the answers? Congratulations! Contact us during the Snake Alley Festival of Film and we’ll arrange for you to kiss the winning wieners. (You lucky dog!)

The party begins in only six more weeks. Just remember…tickets include invitations to the “after” parties.

Keep those cameras rolling.

I’m The Taxman

Kiss the Wiener

Kiss the Wiener

So, what does a song by The Beatles have to do with the Snake Alley Festival of Film…or even Iowa? Keep reading Sunshine. We’re getting there.

In 1962 a movie about two con men premiered in Mason City, Iowa, not too far from Burlington. One of the songs from that movie was recorded by The Beatles on their 1964 album titled “Meet The Beatles.” The name of that song was “Til There Was You.”

When they were filming the movie, Jack L. Warner (of Warner Bros.) wanted Frank Sinatra to play the lead. The writer insisted on someone else and his choice was final. The movie made the writer’s choice into an A-list Star.

So, why did I choose a song called “The Taxman” in a blog about the Snake Alley Festival of Film? Because April 15th was tax day. It was also the final deadline for entries into the film fest.

But you can still be a winner.

Guess the name of the movie, the names of the two men who played the con men (starting with the guy who beat out Sinatra), and the first name of the writer of the movie.
If you get all three correct, you’ll win a prize. Get two correct and win a prize for second place. Get one right and you get a third place prize.

The prizes? First place gets to kiss the winner of the Cyn-A-Palooza wiener dog races. Second place gets to kiss two dogs, and third place gets to…well, you get the idea.

The judges are working their eyeballs to the bone. It’s gonna be a great fest.

“A Tale of Original Sin!”

Wiener Dog Races

Lonnie and Cyn

And so it came to pass that actor, writer, and director, Lonnie Schuyler did gaze upon the countenance of Iowa girl Cynthia Stiefel. And he was sorely tempted by her to leave The Garden of Weird and Evil (Hollywood) and follow her to the land of milk and honey (known locally as corn and pigs!)

Thus did they wed and began a life of business and civic endeavors in a town called Burlington in the land of Iowa.
Cynthia (or Cyn as she is now called) opened a boutique and named it Original Cyn’s. She became involved in the revitalization of Burlington’s downtown area and with the help of other merchants began an annual street festival that draws many travelers to the area and promotes the main street and downtown revival.

This festival…called Cyn-A-Palooza, is replete with games, sales, live jousting with those intrepid ferret and weasel hunters, (actually—Wiener dog races) and fun for the entire family.

Lonnie gazed upon this land and the river that runs by it and saw that it was good. He thus began to make movies utilizing the river and surrounding lands. As his movies took him to other towns and film festivals, he realized that his betrothed had led him to an ideal location for a film festival.

With visions of using the refurbished Capitol Theater and Burlington’s revitalizing downtown, he began planning a film festival to be unique among others. He sensed that using the towns major landmarks would be the key to making it stand out. With the church steeples as a backdrop and Snake Alley as a theme, The Snake Alley Festival of Film was born.

And so…with much fanfare, and to once again bestow much merriment on the town of Burlington, in the land called Iowa, the 10th Annual Cyn-A-Palooza will take place on June 8th, following the 2nd Annual Snake Alley festival of Film. (June 6-8)

Be there or thou-est will be square!

Let’s “Forge” Ahead!

The"Alley"

Bill and Betty Printy

Mark Heisdorffer

Pictures in decending order order are: The “Alley,” Bill and Betty Printy, and Mark Heisdorffer.

Have you checked out our new poster? It’s pure creative genius.

And speaking of creative genius, you may not be aware that the awards given out at The Snake Alley Festival of Film are one-off, hand-made, custom-designed, pieces of sculpture! But they are! Raw iron is forged into beautiful works of art not found anywhere else on the planet. Then each piece is mounted on a wooden base and inscribed with the name of the award and the date.

The “Alley’s” are the brain-child of blacksmith, artist, and creative genius, Bill Printy who is ably assisted by Mark Heisdorffer.

So, if you do win an “Alley,” not only do you have bragging rights, you now have a true collector’s item.

Also, Bill Printy’s wife is a renowned potter who created and copyrighted Queen Anne’s Lace Pottery (named after the flower) and each unique piece has a flower fired right into it. She also has a pottery piece in every Governor’s Mansion in the U.S.

Bill and Betty, own the Iron and Lace Shop in Bentonsport, Iowa. Their web site is http://www.ironandlace.com

While you’re here for The Snake Alley Festival of Film, and you have energy left after Cyn-A-Palooza, be sure and visit their studio, gallery, and shop. They will teach you how to do (blacksmithing, pottery, weaving, and forge-welding) if you’re interested.

And…if you missed the late deadline of April 1st, you’ve still got a chance. Just click on the “withoutabox” box to enter.

If you want to subscribe to this blog, pay attention to Laura Woodard of Grassroots Marketing when she says, “Click on the teeny-weeny little box in the lower right corner of the page.”

What is Cyn-A-Palooza? Stay tuned and find out! Ciao, baby!