Things didn't exactly go according to plan.
Hopes of meeting former Beatle Paul McCartney fell through, a mosque withdrew its invitation and a local luminary lined up to host a concert in nearby Liverpool pulled out as a political statement.
She visited a school in this community that is 25 percent Muslim, but many of the children were kept home for the day by protesting parents. Others cut classes to join the protests.
Rice was supposed to watch Straw's beloved Blackburn Rovers football team play but their match was moved to Monday night for better television coverage. So a brief ceremony to present her with a jersey took place in an empty 32,000-seat stadium.