First mermaid at the Sandbar in Lawrence, Kansas (2002)

The story of the hurricane…

In 2001, Sandbar founder Peach Madl wanted to create an Indoor Hurricane attraction for The Sandbar in Lawrence, Kansas. If you know Peach, you know that she can make just about anything happen, no matter how crazy or impossible it might sound.

Peach enlisted the help of David Johanning, longtime Sandbar manager, and her brother, Patrick Conroy, to design an elaborate mix of wind, rain, and lightning to blow throughout the bar. Through the past ten years, several different news videos have been filmed that warn customers of the impending “storm.” The videos star Sandbar staff members and friends, and occasionally a famous face appears.

That wasn’t all. An original Sandbar song was needed to end the storm! Peach collaborated with Dusty Workman and Eddie Kilgallon to write an island-style ditty that captures the essence of the beach bar, and Sandbar friends traveled to Nashville in 2006 to record the song.

The indoor hurricane runs every night at 10 p.m. at The Sandbar. A customer is chosen to be the mermaid and dons a sparkly green costume, stands on the bar and reads a poem. The newscast video rolls, and then the hurricane blows in. The storm lasts for a couple minutes, and then the Sandbar song ends the show while the crowd sings and dances.

Order the Bahama Mama and don’t forget to cover your drink with your hand when the hurricane starts!  

Colleen Z., via Yelp

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