FAQs & Helpful Hints
Christmas in July!
don’t know how it is in your home town, but around here it
seems like the fireworks, ribbons and Uncle Sam posters are hardly
put away before the fake snow, Santa Suits and ‘Christmas
in July’ banners go up. I don’t know where or when the
tradition of Christmas in July started (I’ve found references
to it as far back as the late 1950s) but I’ve found some interesting
stories about it.
At McMurdo Station in Antarctica, the tradition of celebrating Christmas
in July seems to have originated around midwinter supply drops.
Because Antarctica is in the Southern hemisphere, July is actually
the middle of winter. Ice and high winds make landing too dangerous
so military supply planes zoom overhead, parachuting fresh food
- along with mail and other packages - down onto the ice. The sudden
arrival of food, presents, and other goodies was just like a visit
Many Australian families celebrate “half-Christmas”
in June or July. This tradition seems to have evolved since television
and movies brought images of holiday celebrations in the Northern
hemisphere to the Australians. While many of them wanted to enjoy
the traditional “Christmas feast” with roasted meats,
plum pudding, and all the trimmings, the hot weather around December
made such a heavy meal inappropriate. So many Aussie families kept
their original Christmas traditions (like an outdoor barbecue and
a swim in the backyard pool!) and added a midwinter dinner. Interestingly,
even though they celebrate Christmas in the summertime, many Australians
still use winter-y themes such as snow, snowmen and frosty scenes
on their Christmas cards and in their holiday decorations.
Here in the States, Christmas in July seems to be more a marketing
tool than anything. Television networks use it as an excuse to re-run
holiday specials; car dealerships use it as a theme for their midsummer
sales; even the grocery stores around here are getting in on it!
If you want to have your own Christmas in July party you’ll
need one thing to really make it special, snow!
Snow Machine is a professional-quality machine for making and
snow. The fake
snow it creates looks exactly like real snow, falls at the same
rate, and doesn’t leave a mess behind. Since snow
machines are a relatively new technology, I feel a brief explanation
of how our snow machine works is in order.
A snow machine consists of four basic components: a fluid tank,
a fluid pump, a high-speed blower, and a nylon “sock.”
When the machine is turned on, the pump moves snow
fluid (a water-based soap solution) from the tank into the nylon
sock at the front of the machine. At the same time, the blower pushes
air through the sock at high speed. As the snow liquid is forced
through the material of the sock, the air whips it into small clumps
of foam that fall just like real snowflakes.
liquid is a water-based solution, the artificial snow created
by our snow machine does not result in a watery mess. Our machine
creates a “dry” snow that evaporates within a few seconds
of touching the floor, leaving almost no residue at all behind.
Many ballet companies have used our snow machines, usually in productions
of “The Nutcracker,” and we have never heard a complaint
of dancers sticking or slipping on our snow.
To get the best effect from a snow machine, you should mount it
in a high location. While fans can be used to blow the fake snow
up into the air, the effect looks best if the snow seems to be falling
naturally from above. If you are planning to use the snow machine
in a holiday display, you’ll want to use the timer remote
on the snow machine (new for this model) to switch the snow on and
off. The remote allows you to select the duration of the snow effect
as well as the interval between “blizzards.” If you
are using the machine on a timer, be sure to keep an eye on the
fluid tank! Running a snow machine without any snow fluid in the
tank will damage the pump.
Even if you don’t plan to celebrate Christmas this summer,
now is a great time to invest in a snow machine. With the addition
of a timer remote and DMX-512 compatibility, our snow machines
are a better value now more than ever! Of course if you do get a snow
machine this week, how could you resist unpacking it and causing
a few flurries at your next backyard barbecue?
Theatre Effects Customer Service Department
Effects, 11707 Chesterdale Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45246
Phone: 1-800-791-7646 or 513-772-7646 Fax: 513-772-3579
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