Recently more and more cruise ships have been stopping by our small port. Hosting these visitors is a huge community-wide event. Little stalls are set up in the port selling local foods, city hall members are available for help, translators volunteer to help the guests from China (and very occasionally Canada), and the taiko team performs. The visitors typically go on bus tours of the city and area during the day, then as they arrive back at the port in the late afternoon our taiko group is set up to perform.
Though it’s a fun event, it makes for a long, long day. There were probably ten different busses and we had to perform for every single one. The poor kids team members were asleep on their feet by the last time. They would perform (with me playing the big drum most of the time), then the adults would take over for a few songs, before switching back to the kids. I think we performed for close to three hours, on and off.
At the end of all of the performances, as the ship was pulling away, the guests who were waving at us from the ship’s deck threw out streamers that all of the kids ran around to try and collect.
It’s nice to perform somewhere other than the stage in front of the station every so often.