The Show Must Go On: Kingman's Annual Fun Run got off to a soggy, chilly start
KINGMAN - Wet weather pounded downtown but the show had to go on.
Rain jackets replaced sunscreen Saturday morning as drivers and spectators were headed for whatever cover they could find as showers nearly turned the Historic Route 66 Fun Run into a boat show.
"I thought this was going to blow over," said Kyle Spanski, who drove a 1933 Willys up from Laughlin. "This is pretty grim."
Hoods that would normally be open to show off shiny engines and convertible tops that would be down stayed up. A waiter at Mr. D's Route 66 Diner scurried to get food from the restaurant to a tent outside set up for the extra influx of customers.
"Usually by now there would be an hour wait to get in," said diner manager Michelle Jimenez. "We're still busy, but not as busy. This is the first year we haven't had a wait."
Kingman wasn't the only strip of the road getting soaked.
"The traffic is scattered and there's a few breaks in the weather here and there," said Mike Fresco, who drove his 1968 El Camino down from Valle Vista. "Other than the weather, everything's going fine. There's some die-hard folks out and some nice cars."
A husband and wife biker team took cover inside House of Hops. They were planning to head to Pirate Cove near Topock but decided otherwise.
"Were not going in this," said Joe Brendel. "We got a hotel and plan to stay the night."
"It's not much fun riding when you have cars and trucks spraying water in your face," said his wife Deb.
Alma and Don Hazzard were traveling back to California from Sedona and decided to make a pit stop.
"This is the first time we've heard of the Fun Run," Alma said.
"We might as well hang out and see what we can see," her husband replied.
The numbers haven't been tallied yet, but things were looking good as of Friday. The Kingman Visitor Center received 1,100 visitors Friday.
"That's more than we've had in the past years in the day before the run," said Information Manager Diane Silverman.
There were roughly 2,400 visitors in 2015. As of 1 p.m. Saturday the museum and gift shop had seen about 760 visitors.
Some of the downtown business had to shift plans.
The beer festival at House of Hops was extended past its original 6 p.m. closing to continue throughout the evening in order to attract as many customers as possible. The bands that were scheduled to play in the afternoon had to move the show to later in the day.
Temperatures were in the high 40s to low 50s throughout the morning and early afternoon. Nearly a half-inch of rain had fallen since Friday and was expected to taper off around 7 p.m. Saturday.
The weather didn't stop the classic car convoy. Most of the fun-runners were rolling into downtown right about noon, but car enthusiasts who would normally cruise down to park and watch were rare until the sun came out later in the afternoon.
Kingman Director of Tourism Josh Noble was out and about to observe the event. He had to duck back inside the visitor center to dry off and discuss the possibility of opening up Beale Street early. It was planned to be closed off to traffic until 6 p.m.
"We don't want those businesses to get mad," he said. "Normally we'd have a solid row of cars by now."