The concert was held at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI. The venue is an open air amplitheatre with about 7,000 seats, and a lawn that can hold up to 30,000. The Theatre is located about 40 minutes south west of Milwaukee, and is equidistant from Milwaukee, Chicago, and Rockford. Jimmy Buffett played the inagural season at Alpine Valley in 1977, and has played there every year since 1995, with the exception of 2005. Bufett is one of the favorite concerts that people look forward to every year at Alpine Valley.
Tailgating before the event is as much a part of the event as the concert itself. Buffett fans start to arrive very early on the day of the event. I spoke with some people who arrived at 10:00 AM. There are many people who just party in the lot, and never even make it in to the concert. One reason people arrive so early is to set up camp. There are some very elaborate Tiki bars, and tropical oases that are assembled for the day. Everyone brings plenty of food, plenty of drink, and grills out.
After arriving, we set up our camp for the day and enjoyed some Barbados Punch. I got the recipe from Rum Shop Ryan. It calls for:
- 1 pint light rum
- 1 pint dark rum
- 3 pints pineapple juice
- 1 pint mango nectar
- 8 bananas
- 1 cup sugar
- juice of 8 limes.
- 1 block of ice or ice cubes
Slice up the 8 bananas, and put them in a blender or food processor with the sugar and lime juice. Blend the ingredients together until smooth. Then, add the rums and remaining juices. Put the punch in a bowl with a block of ice. In my case I put the punch in a cooler jug for easy transportation.
This is a delicious rum punch. It has a really nice banana flavor, and is complimented by the dark rum, pineapple juice, and lime juice. I found this punch to taste best when the ice started diluting the punch a little. The bananas make this a little bit on the thicker side; almost like a smoothie.
After a couple drinks we walked around visiting other partiers. We ran into some friends, Kristin, Guy, and Lisa. We shared some drinks and Let's Tiki Stickers. After that we wandered through the rows of cars and busses meeting other Buffett fans. The atmosphere was like one enormous college party with all ages joining in on the fun. Everyone, was cutting loose and having a great time. We met some very nice ladies who shared Jello shots with us. Saw a lot of great Tiki Bars, and even saw Santa and Mrs. Claus.
If you can ever make it to Alpine Valley for the Buffet Concert I would highly recommend it. It is a beautiful venue out in the country. You'll be in for a wild and crazy time, and you are never too young our too old to enjoy the fun!