Rain threatens weekend full of big events

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by Natalie Brand

azfamily.com

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 7:11 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 3 at 2:27 PM

PHOENIX -- Phoenicians can feel it in the air, as the threat of rain blows into the Valley.

"I am a little chilly," admitted Catrina Kahler in downtown Phoenix. "We’re following the weather really closely."

Kahler is hosting an event downtown on Saturday, "Art d’ Core Gale," one of many events scheduled for this weekend.

The weather forecast’s 100 percent chance of rain on Saturday is threatening to put a damper on one of the busiest weekends of the season, between NASCAR at Phoenix International Raceway, Major League Baseball spring training, the Phoenix Marathon, and the Great Arizona Beer Festival, to name a few.

"We’re going to have 20 foot canopies for rain refuge," said David Noble of Sun Sounds of Arizona which runs the Great Arizona Beer Festival, still scheduled for Saturday at Tempe Beach Park.

"We can’t afford to not be here because of the rain," said Noble. However, this year, craft beer will come with extra tents and a last minute order.

"We ordered about 360 ponchos, just now," said Noble. "I may have purchased the entire poncho supply in the City of Phoenix!"

Noble is trying to keep festival goers as dry as possible, but he admits he’s worried about the weather affecting walk up sales and overall attendance.

Meanwhile in Mesa, Phoenix Marathon and half marathon runners picked up their packets Thursday afternoon.

"The chance [of rain] increased every time I looked, so I stopped looking," laughed Race Director Jamie Campbell.

Joking aside, Campbell said runners are a tough breed who will rally, rain or shine.

"We are going to have some extra tents," said Campbell. "We encourage runners to come with rain gear, ponchos, garbage bags, whatever they want to be warm."

Campbell said there will also be heat lamps at the start line for the more than 9,000 runners signed up to race.

"I am nervous about the rain," said runner Kristina Nichols. "I’ve been watching the weather all day."
But, leave it to out-of-towners to put our weather in perspective.

"It was 15 degrees when I left Atlanta. It’s heaven here. If you want to trade, I’ll trade ya," threatened Fulton Lewis, visiting from Georgia. "Get an umbrella, and get over it."

'We do need the rain," admitted Arizona native Catrina Kahler. "It could come on a different day, but we do need it."

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