It’s OK to miss Super Bowl
The Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band will be getting ready to close Sunday’s Mardi Gras parade in Nevada City shortly before the teams line up for the kickoff of Super Bowl XXXIX.
But the prospect of competing with U.S. television’s most-watched event doesn’t faze parade organizers, Nevada City businesses, or the promoter of a Bob Marley birthday concert Sunday.
Cathy Whittlesey, executive manager of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, is just thankful this year’s game – expected to attract at least 90 million viewers – features teams from the East Coast.
“I’m not a Super Bowl fan, but people tell me it’s not a West Coast deal this year, so that takes a lot of the interest out of it,” she said. “The parade’s at 2 o’clock and the game doesn’t start until 3:30, so people have time to watch the parade and then run home for the Super Bowl.”
The parade always falls on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday, the last day to party before the start of Lent. Until recently, the Super Bowl was always held on the last Sunday in January.
“This is the first time (the Mardi Gras parade has) been this early,” she said. “It won’t happen every year.”
(For early planners, the 2006 parade will be Feb. 26.)
“The conflict doesn’t concern me,” said Tom Coleman, owner of the National Hotel. “But I would prefer that it not happen.”
Coleman said Tuesday that the hotel is almost 100 percent booked for the weekend, and he’ll even have one-man band Rocky, a local favorite, performing Sunday night.
“We’ll have the game on mute,” he said. “Rocky is a very popular draw … He’s got a following that doesn’t care about football.”
Owner Greg Cook, who always closes Friar Tuck’s on Super Bowl Sunday to hold a belated Christmas party for his employees, is taking a pass on Mardi Gras to fete his employees.
“I’m not really disappointed because it’s kind of a scary day, anyway,” he said. “You come in here after the parade, and it’s like New Year’s Eve at midnight at 4 in the afternoon.”
Still, he concedes, Mardi Gras is a good event for the restaurant and bar. “That would be a busy night for us,” he said. “But my staff worked really hard during the holidays.”
Hotel owner Coleman may have summed up the chances for Mardi Gras festivities best when he said:
“If the husband says to the wife, ‘What do you want to do: Sit here and watch the Super Bowl, or go to the Mardi Gras?,’ what do you think the wife’s going to say?”
Deborah Glines wasn’t aware she would be competing with the Super Bowl when she booked the second annual Bob Marley Birthday Celebration for 6 p.m. Sunday in North San Juan.
“My husband actually told me a couple of days ago,” she said Wednesday. “I said, ‘Well, that’s the way it goes.'”
But she doesn’t think the broadcast will cut into attendance at the Marley celebration. “I don’t think Marley fans are big football fans,” she said.
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