Just six weeks ago, the annual Desert Storm Poker Run Street Party had been relegated to Sara Park, an open-space location some five miles away from its traditional McCulloch Boulevard location in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. At issue was a permit for the organizers to use the street for their always epic, mile-long-display of motorized hardware from boats to sand rails. Desert Storm’s Christina Nichols was told she’d have to find another location for the daylong exhibit because a permit wasn’t coming thanks to COVID-19 safety concerns.
With the Desert Storm Street Party in its original location, the daylong celebration of high-performance powerboats and more raged from beginning to end. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
Nichols made the best of a bad situation and secured the Sara Park venue, but she never gave up hope. Nor did the exhibitors, most of whom were less than thrilled with notion of, as one who preferred to remain anonymous said, “putting boats in a dust bowl on the edge of town.”
Their hope was rewarded a couple of weeks later when Lake Havasu City granted Nichols and company to return the party—a signature event within an event—to its original location. And as you can see from the images of last night’s happening, the party was on.
The street was packed with thousands of people and display after display of the finest hardware from DCB Performance Boats, Eliminator Boats, Nordic Boats, MTI. Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats, Skater Powerboats and more. Any notions that Super Cat Fest West, which took over the London Bridge Resort last week in fine style, would detract from Desert Storm were dispelled yesterday.
Enjoy more images from last night’s Desert Storm Street Party in the slideshow above.
“It was incredible,” said Cherilyn Noack, the vice-president of marketing for Teague Custom Marine in Valencia, Calif. “I don’t know if we have ever had a busier street party. We never had a lull. We could barely help people fast enough and often had a line. I think the mild weather played a big factor—plus everyone being ready to come out to an event.
“We saw so many customers from all over the country,” she continued “Many of the people who stopped by our booth had a connection—we either work on their boat, sell them parts, or they actively follow Teague Custom Marine on social media. It was amazing.”
Today, more than 200 boats will take to the waters of Lake Havasu for the actual Desert Storm Poker Run, which was—like all big-name go-fast boating events—cancelled last year. Like the return of the street party to its cherished location, that’s something to celebrate.
Said Cherilyn Noack (center) of Teague Custom Marine, “I don’t know if we’ve ever had a busier street party.”