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Mirage Volcano

Bonus story from “Weird Las Vegas”

Every hour on the hour from 7:00 pm to midnight, hundreds of pedestrians gather around on the Strip and wait anxiously before the inevitable gurgling and churning precedes a thunderous and fiery explosion. No, it’s not comedian Louie Anderson excusing himself from the buffet table, it’s the Mirage Volcano.   

   Since the Mirage opened in 1989, the volcano has been one of the most popular “must-see” free attractions on Las Vegas Blvd. The volcano sits in a beautifully manicured 3-acre man-made lagoon, which, much like humorist, Louie Anderson’s toilet, circulates 119,000 gallons of water per minute.

   A veritable tropical paradise in the desert, waterfalls, tall swaying palm trees and other lush green vegetation give a serene and peaceful appearance. Suddenly there is a burbling from the mouth of 54 foot high crater, and all at once, without warning (except for that whole every hour on the hour after 7 PM thing) the mighty mountain violently spews orange and red dancing and cascading flames 100 feet into the arid night air. For those standing close enough, there is a perceivable rise in temperature… but of course, the same can be said for anyone who has ever stood near comic, Louie Anderson after a hearty meal of burritos and pot roast.

   Some 3000 lights simulate a lava flow along the otherwise placid lake, and after some time, the volatile flames settle into a flicker, and the fire along the perimeter of the great volcano dim, as tranquility recaptures the evening.

    It is said to hide the odor of the natural gas used for the fire effects, the Mirage pumps out a refreshing Piña Colada scent.

   If only someone would invent something like that for funnyman Louie Anderson.