Setting: Make Sure Your Data Is Up-to-Date

That’s my kiddo (all 6’2″) facing the camera.

This past weekend I had a lesson in making sure you setting information is up-to-date. I’ve been noodling over the possibility of setting a story at the local Missouri Botanical Garden. Maybe I’d even set it at one of the festivals.

This past weekend was the Japanese Festival. We used to go to this with my mom and dad, but it had been years since I attended. My son was in the kendo demonstration so off we went, hats and sunscreen in hand.

It turns out, we didn’t need sunscreen because it was a wet, rainy event but it was still a lot of fun. But this was NOT the event I remember.

Most of the demonstrations I remember where music, dance, and theater. The vast majority took place in or near the Japanese garden or the auditorium. It is huge so that’s not to say that the events I remember were small.

But events took place everywhere! In the old library, there were displays and demonstrations of origami and calligraphy. There were multiple martial arts demonstrations as well as the music, dance, and theater.

But the change that caught my attention first and foremost were the cosplay costumes. Lucy Heartfilia was everywhere! We also saw dragons and demon slayers and so much more.

Cosplay was so not a part of any previous festival that I had attended. But in all reality it was a brilliant way to bring out younger residents to take part in the event. That said, if I hadn’t been there this time, I would have left this out of my setting.

Before you write up a festival or event or even a tourist attraction, visit it if you can. If not, do some serious research. So many things have changed since 2019.

–SueBE