AP NEWS

Chamber prepares for Desert Bash as storm looms

November 29, 2018

With determination, a positive outlook, careful planning and a lot of grit, the Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce is ready to tame Lake Havasu City’s desert trails this weekend.

The Chamber’s annual Desert Bash & Off-Road Poker Run begins Friday, and Chamber members are preparing the scene. They erected tents at Standard Wash Wednesday afternoon, built to withstand storms predicted for the region today in preparation for hundreds of visitors and spectators this Friday. According to the National Weather Service, there will be a 50 percent chance of showers this afternoon, with gusts as strong as 25 miles per hour. Nickle says the Chamber will be ready for it.

“Desert Bash is one of our top fundraisers alongside Winter Fest,” said Niki Nickle, the Chamber’s special events manager. “About 250 vehicles will be participating in this year’s poker run. It’s such a sell-out event that we’ve started expanding on the ‘Bash’ part of it as well.”

While the event will only be open to drivers and their companions this Friday, the Desert Storm Poker Run & Bash will be open and free to the public this Saturday. The event will feature vendors, live music, beer and dinner and drawings for gift baskets valued at $500 apiece. Visitors will also have a chance to join the “Polaris Experience,” allowing those not partaking in the poker run to have an off-road excursion of their own.

“About 600 people will be participating in the run, and we’re hoping for a large crowd Saturday,” Nickle said. “We’ll have parking signs posted for the public … the event has really taken off in recent years, and we’re going to be better prepared.”

The road into Standard Wash will be widened in preparation for the event, more easily accommodating visitors to the event and participants in the run.

“It’s great to see community members as well as people from California come out just for this poker run,” Nickle said.

The event opens Friday at 6 p.m. for drivers and participants. The poker run itself will begin Saturday at 8 a.m., and will be open to the public.

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