'Festival vibe' took over Mass Street ahead of KU game - KCTV5 News

'Festival vibe' took over Mass Street ahead of KU game

Posted: Updated:
(Nathan Vickers/KCTV) (Nathan Vickers/KCTV)
(Rob Rhodes/KCTV) (Rob Rhodes/KCTV)

On Saturday afternoon, Mass Street felt like a street fair after Lawrence police closed down the district to vehicles.

People were taking advantage of the beautiful weather for an impromptu sort of "Jayhawk Festival."

There was a little music and dancing before the start of the Final Four.

Everyone and their dogs were enjoying the sunny spring day in downtown Lawrence.

Some took advantage of the open street and no traffic that made it a perfect place to skate.

“Taking advantage of skating down Mass Street doesn't happen very often,” said Danielle Rittenhouse. “It's kind of a festival vibe.”

Rittenhouse goes by the name Dizzy Astor when she skates with the Capital City Crushers.

She and her roller derby squad suited up in their Jayhawk gear to show off their skills before tipoff.

“The best thing about roller skating is you get to see your city from a different perspective,” she said, “and people get a kick out of seeing you on wheels.”

It's not every day that Rittenhouse gets to showcase her sport while celebrating another.

“Living in Lawrence, it just comes with the territory to be a Jayhawk fan,” Rittenhouse said. “Comes with the town.”

That was especially true on Saturday.

Families appreciate the open streets, too. Today was a good place to dribble a basketball or run free before the game.

“It's not very often the kids get to walk around the street, right on the yellow line,” said Zach Carr. “It's a great time.”

As the street filled up, so did the bars. People should plan to show up early if they want to get a seat with a good view.

Even two hours before tip off, it was probably too late to find a seat on Mass Street, as bars had lines down the block as early as 2 p.m.

One of those businesses with a line was Jefferson's, a small restaurant that always fills up fast.

Around 3:30 p.m., after the lunch hours, they emptied out so that anyone who wanted to watch the game could come in and get a seat.

Phil and Lisa Harden definitely wanted to make sure to get to the front of the line.

They wanted the seats by the window with a good view of the screen, which is where they were sitting when KU won the championship in 2008.

They have a few other superstitions, too.

“We definitely wear the same clothes for every game,” said Lisa Harden. “That's a superstition we have every game; you can't buy new clothes during the tournament.”

“It's pretty amazing,” Phil Harden said. “This is the first time they've blocked off the entire street. The weather ended up being nice, so everyone's just walking around having a good time.”

The Hardens assured KCTV5 News they do wash their Jayhawk clothes in between games and they said they will try to get the same seats on Monday if the Jayhawks advance.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.