FLORENCE — For the first time in four years, Scott Morgan was doing a brisk business with his Pump Bottle Misters at Country Thunder on Thursday.
By 3 p.m. the California businessman had sold 250 of the 2,000 he brought to sell throughout the weekend.
“When it’s hot out, they sell themselves,” he said as his employee Carlos Gonzales of neighboring San Tan Valley sprayed passersby with the cold mist.
The misters were selling for $12 apiece and that included three refills of icy cold water pumped from an ice chest on the counter. For another $2, you could get three more refills, which Morgan estimated would take you through the four-day festival that continues through Sunday.
But Morgan might find himself long out of misters by Sunday if the temperatures follow Thursday’s. By the time former ASU football player-turned country singer Ryan Bexley hit the main stage at 4 p.m., the sun was beating down a blistering 97 degrees.
Glendale resident Ronni Pfeiffer sat beneath an umbrella on the sprawling lawn, shielding herself from the sun. Nearby, former Tucsonans Tracy and Bill Lamoreaux and their friends Brandon and Rylee Bledsoe stretched out on a blanket. The women covered their faces with hats.
“It’s hot, but it’s nice,” Tracy Lamoreaux said as Bexley belted out “when I see you” as a group of his buddies crowded the stage front hollering a chorus of “Yeahs.”
Lamoreaux and her friend weren’t really paying Bexley much attention. They were there for Saturday’s headliner Miranda Lambert.
“We’re excited about the old stuff, too,” she said, mentioning the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band that was on stage after Bexley. “But Miranda has got me really excited.”
What has Morgan excited is Mother Nature. This is the first time in the four years he’s set up shop at Country Thunder that the weather has cooperated.
“Three years ago it rained every day,” he recalled. “We called it mud fest. Last year it was warm but nothing like this. When it hits 90, we sell a lot of misters.”