Lifelong Fans Upset About Changes On Pasco Side For Water Follie - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lifelong Fans Upset About Changes On Pasco Side For Water Follies

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As hydro fans plan out where they'll watch the races from, some longtime fans are upset about new changes on the Pasco side. As hydro fans plan out where they'll watch the races from, some longtime fans are upset about new changes on the Pasco side.
PASCO, WA - As hydro fans plan out where they'll watch the races from, some longtime fans are upset about new changes on the Pasco side.

On the Pasco side fans will not be allowed to keep their tents or their tent frames up overnight. Throughout its history the Pasco side has had few if any real regulations and these changes have longtime fans reconsidering attending the races altogether.

"This will be the first year in 49 years I will not be attending the races," said Darin Oman who is a lifelong fan having been to every Water Follies.

Oman says he usually watches the races surrounded by about 100 of his friends and family members under a big tent. He says having to take it down each night is just too much of a hassle. 

"We're trying to manage the shoreline a little better so that our general admission guests all have a comfortable place to enjoy the weekend and watch the races," said Kathy Powell, the Event Director for Water Follies.

The apparent problem is that when a big tent is set up in general admission a day ahead it can block the view of some fans even when it's not being used.

Water Follies organizers say making people set up and take the tents down ensures that tents will only stand while people are using them and it'll give everyone a fair shot at getting closer to the water.

"It's just creating a whole lot of work for their long time supporters that support their event," said Oman.

He points out those rules are not the same on the Kennewick side, which he believes is unfair. Organizers explain, because over 200 RVs already camp there overnight it's hard to patrol who can stay set up and who has to break their stuff down.

"On the Kennewick side we're going to have aisle ways down to the water," said Powell. They hope the aisles will keep the Kennewick side more organized and give fans more routes in and out of the giant crowds.

Oman and over 150 other Pasco side fans that have signed their names to his cause believe the changes are just frustrating. Last year he went up and down the shoreline collecting pages of signatures and information from people who agree with him.

"It does nothing to promote attendance. It does everything to decrease it and it's unnecessary."

Volunteers along with reserve police officers will be patrolling the area on the Pasco side this weekend. Organizers explain if you want to keep your tent up overnight there are reserved spots but you'll have to pay more to rent those out. 
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