At Wednesday’s rain-soaked MAACO Bowl Las Vegas tailgate party, Boise State boosters handed out potato foam hats that resembled hairy chocolate chip cookies.
“I think a lot of people are taking them just to keep warm,” one woman said as she slogged through the mud and distributed hats with a smile.
Rain fell so heavily at times that nearby buildings were obscured in mist. The conditions aren’t seen often in Las Vegas, but residents and visitors muddled through.
On Fremont Street, the kiosks were closed most of the day, with just a few opening by early evening.
“This is the slowest week of the year anyway,” said Chris Mireles, assistant manger of Mickie Finnz Fish House & Bar, 425 Fremont St. “We’ve hardly seen anyone today.”
The elements were all in place for the tailgate party at Sam Boyd Stadium. Small groups of people positioned themselves between lakes and puddles in the dirt parking lot. At the main event, multiple VIP tents a portable bandstand, several kiosks, a practice field, carnival rides and public seating were set up. But organizers weren’t prepared for the weather that put a damper on attendance.
The Star Nursery Practice Field was empty. At the far end, Michael Davis huddled in the portable office of his Pahrump-based amusement park ride company, Davis Amusements.
“We’ve had a few folks come down this way, but it’s been pretty quiet,” Davis said, “We used to be based out of Portland, Oregon, so we’re used to this.”
Davis works local events during the fall and winter and tours during the year.
“People just don’t want to get on the rides when it’s like this,” he said. “There’s just no way not to get cold and wet.”
Davis hopes to return to the event next year in better weather.
“We get so little rain here,” Davis said, “It’s just bad luck it’s like this today.”
The tents did draw diehard fans like Tom Johnson and his friend Bob Simmons, who drove down from Star, Idaho, to see the game.
“This isn’t bad at all,” said Johnson, looking at marching band members who were wrapped in clear plastic bags. “We drove 650 miles to get here and we’re not going to let a little rain get us down. I wish it would turn to snow, then we’d at least be dry.”
Contact Sunrise and Whitney View reporter F. Andrew Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 380-4532.