Northern Nevadans were treated to a beautiful sunny day for the 75th annual Nevada Day Parade in downtown Carson City. The streets of the silver state’s capital city were lined with smiling faces anxiously awaiting the pageantry and tradition of the two hundred entrants from around the state.
Participants included Chocolate Nugget Factory, National American Miss Pageant, Sheep Dip, Inc., Northern Nevada Coin, Bunny Ranch, Kerak Shriners, Cashman Equipment, KNPB Channel 5, Pinkerton Ballet Theater, JROTC McQueen High School, Disabled American Vets, Reno Rodeo Association, Burning Man, Reno Aces Baseball Club, and Storey County.
Yellow and orange leaves fluttered to the ground while children played on the grass in the historic downtown area, the mood was festive and celebratory as Nevadans young and old gathered along the main street waiting for the first of the floats, bands, and officials to make their way down the street. Some families pulled out all the stops with sidewalk parties of mimosas, Bloody Marys, and picnic food; while others were happy in their oversized lawn chairs or even standing with their little one on their shoulders.
Nostalgia was in the air, as classic cars rolled slowly down the parade route, their passengers waving slowly to the happy crowd, children scampering for the candy being tossed to them; the proud Arabian horses pranced and posed professionally, their beautiful princesses smiling at the admirers; and the military heroes graciously accepted the applause and thanks from grateful American citizens.
The Storey County float, driven by County Senior Planner, Austin Osborne, was donated by Storey County Fire Department and represented was a group effort of the community and officials. The float focused on the proud legacy of the county, a tradition of adventure and industry with an authentic western experience, and mining – both historic and current.
The county is proud of their heritage as well as the current residents; commercial, industrial, and residential who call Storey County home came together to celebrate Nevada Day with an inspired float symbolizing the area, “Adventures and Industry”. Many turned out to help with the float and participate in the parade including Living Legends, Judge Eileen Herrington, Comstock Mining Inc. (CMI), Virginia City Tourism Commission, Virginia City High School Science Class, Clampers, Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRI), and Storey County employees.
A smiling camel, symbolic of Virginia City’s famed camel races, rode on the middle of the fire truck next to an original mining ore cart from CMI, surrounded by local wildflowers and sage, with cutouts of the mountain range and a logo of TRI, the massive 107,000 acre industrial park and home to businesses like Wal-Mart, PetSmart, Toys R Us, and Kal Kan.
Local businesses were thrilled to take part in the celebration; MX Trophies made the banners for the float, and CMI donated their ore cart for use on the float. The cart, which usually sits in front of the guard shack on the property, was found when they were exploring the Hartford Resource Area, completely intact and on the tracks.
CMI went all out with their representation of mining, both historic and present; they had three people dressed in current mining gear, Kiersten Briggs, Lindsey Dugas, and Rachel Yelderman, while CEO and President, Corrado DeGasperis came dressed as a mine owner from 75 years ago. Dressed from Fred’s Closet in Virginia City, DeGasperis looked the part of a wealthy mine owner of days gone by, while Briggs, Dugas, and Yelderman were perfectly suited for a day at the mine in 2013 and represented some of Nevada’s women in mining.
“Representing the Comstock in Carson City Saturday was an honor, humbling really,” says DeGasperis, “Walking with Storey County, the overwhelming spirit of Virginia City and the Comstock and watching all those children, people cheer and yell; it was uplifting to my spirit, so joyful, I almost cried.”
County Senior Planner, Austin Osborne, mirrors DeGasperis’ sentiment, “Storey County was honored as a team to be invited; we were proud to be invited to show off Storey County as a place of adventure and industry.”
Norman Rockwell could not have painted a more perfect parade setting than the one offered in Carson City for the 75th annual Nevada Day Parade.
By Dawn Cranfield
US News Special Correspondent
Originally printed in Comstock Chronicle Volume XXVII • No. 44 Front Page (October 30, 2013)