What makes this such a special event is that generally the flower blooms once every ten years and when it does bloom, it only lasts for 48 hours. It's probably a good thing that it doesn't bloom year round... at the height of its blooming cycle, the flower emits a smell that is very close to rotting flesh. The stench helps attract pollinators (like flies and carrion beetles).
Due to the short timeframe Romero has to bloom, Phipps stayed open late... like 2AM kind of late! Hundreds... if not thousands... of people stood in line to see (and smell) this rockstar of the botanical world. Just like a rockstar, people wanted to take pictures with him and had their phones out uploading pictures to their favorite social media sites.
And... just like a rock concert, we got home just before sunrise!