BLAST-OFF IN THE DESERT
Byline: Kristi Ellis
LAS VEGAS — Historically, visitors to this city have flocked indoors to the roulette wheels, the one-armed bandits and the blackjack dealers.
But on Wednesday night, about 300 guests left the city and ventured into the chilly — 45 degrees — desert night for Joe Boxer’s rocket launch, which took place in a dry lake bed 25 miles south of the Strip.
Guests gathered under a tent and wrapped themselves in black thermal blankets emblazoned with the Joe Boxer logo. Nicholas Graham, chief executive of the San Francisco-based underwear company, in a silver foil space suit, saluted the rocket as the Las Vegas High School marching band played Richard Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” the dramatic drum-pounding movement best known from “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
The rocket, which was packed with Joe Boxer products such as watches, shorts, ties and shirts, was supposed to take off, fly a few hundred feet and fall safely in the dry lake bed where guests could then pick through the wreckage for gifts.
But a slight malfunction caused a large piece of rocket to fall a bit too close for comfort — about 50 feet from the crowd. Nevertheless, scavengers quickly grabbed for the goods.
The crowd recovered in time to dance to Kristine W., a dance singer who entertained guests late into the night.
Other party highlights included the Tuesday night performance of Hootie and the Blowfish, sponsored by WWDMagic at the Aladdin, and the Lucky Jeans party, which featured a performance by B.B. King.