LAUGHLIN, NEV., APR 24-27—In years past I’ve attended the wild and raucous wet T-shirt contests held at the Riverside Resort bar named the Losers’ Lounge, and this year was no different. I arrived to find a line extending about 100 feet from the front door wrapping all the way into the gaming area; this event is extremely popular.
Inside the Losers’ Lounge the energy was electric and the place was packed. I’m over 6′ tall and was on the tips of my toes attempting to see the show. There were plenty of contestants and even more spectators, which made for one wild and fun-filled event. Part of my job is to take photographs, however, it didn’t take me long to realize that raising a camera in this venue meant risking my arm being twisted off by security, so I guess you’ll have to use your imagination. Just picture dozens of pretty women in tight, semi-transparent shirts, all vying for that grand prize. Let’s just say it was one hell of a show.
The next day I headed back over to the Riverside Resort where another wet T-shirt contest had been scheduled to take place on their outdoor stage located near the sidewalk on Casino Drive. Apparently, at the last minute, event organizers realized that because the stage was situated so close to the sidewalk, passersby would be able to see the proceedings and potentially cause a pedestrian traffic jam that could grow to the point where it spilled out onto the street as similar events had done in the past. Plus they reasoned that the event would definitely not be appropriate for younger eyes, so with those considerations in mind they cancelled the event entirely. Oh well; in Laughlin you win some, and you lose some.
On Saturday of the River Run we once again headed back to Riverside’s Bodies Bar after a long morning licking our wounds. The bar was hopping, complete with bikini-clad dancers and live music. By the time we got there the crowd was growing in anticipation of the annual Miss Laughlin pageant. This year’s pageant consisted of eight contestants competing for a crack at the $1,000 first-place prize, and I have to say that, compared to years past, these girls were quite impressive. The event had four judges, two of which were members of the band Great White who had played to a packed house at the Riverside resort the night before. The contestants underwent a series of questions by the judges before displaying their special talents. Who knew a water bottle could fit down one’s throat?
The winner of the contest was ultimately chosen by the audience via their level of applause measured by a decibel meter. In the end Jeanette Jacques of Corona, California, took first place and was crowned Miss Laughlin 2014. Jeanette is a student at Cal State San Bernardino studying law, and is also the bass player in a band called Cougrzz Rock, which was in town to play during the River Run. This was Jeanette’s first time in Laughlin, and I managed to pull her aside and asked her what it felt like to become Miss Laughlin 2014: “It feels great winning this pageant because I felt that I am a little different from the other girls; I’m unique and this is just awesome. I love rock ’n’ roll, and I love these people. Bikers are some of the best, most fun people I’ve met in my life.”