Celebrating America’s Independence Day, or more casually known as The Fourth of July, has been the embodiment of American patriotism for most. It is widely marked with picnics, barbecues, concerts in the park, parades honoring those who have fought and died for our country, and for those lucky enough to enjoy it, the night typically ends in a festive fireworks display. For residents of the historic mining district of the Comstock Lode, Virginia City, Nevada, this year promises to be an especially eventful occasion.
While the residents of the tiny town of Virginia City do not have the kind of money it takes to put on a fireworks display that rivals New York’s lights over the Hudson, Disneyland’s explosive display in the sky of Anaheim, or even their neighboring town of Reno’s impressive show (when the wind allows), this community has something you cannot get in the city. When you come to a town with as much history, spirit, and community as they have, they make you feel like slowing down, joining in, and enjoying life.
The town will be filled with locals from Virginia City, Gold Hill, Silver City, The Highlands, Carson City, Gardnerville, Fernley, and Reno as well as tourists from all over enjoying life in the hills of Nevada. The historic buildings, wooden sidewalks, mining relics, and rich stories provide a unique background for the days’ themed events.
There will be a Fourth of July Parade down the town’s main street followed by an evening concert by David John and the Comstock Cowboys in the parking lot by the famed Bucket of Blood Saloon. John was nominated entertainer and songwriter of the year by the Western Music Association.
Additional events include a wine walk, a gunfighter’s comedy show, and a period costumed baseball game in Miners Park and swimming in the newly remodeled pool.
This year, there is a new event in Virginia City, the first annual Shoot-Out on the Hill, a charity fundraising event being held by the 601 Vigilance Committee immediately following the parade across from The Fourth Ward School. The Shoot-Out features real guns with real bullets; participants will be shooting 10 pistol shots, 10 rifle shots, and 6 shotgun.
Participants will be able to shoot like a real cowboy at the fundraiser in a safe environment; proper use of firearms will be demonstrated. There will also be a special shooting demonstration by California champion SASS (Single Action Shooting Society), “Bobcat Tyler” (Tyler Renville).
The Shoot-Out promises to be the first of many years of annual fundraisers for the 601 Vigilance Committee on Independence Day. There will be fun awards with unusual prizes given. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at ticket booths in front of the Ponderosa and the Bucket of Blood Saloon.
Months before the event, the 601 Vigilance Committee began working to ensure this occasion would be successful. There was the typical scuttle regarding logistics, supplies, and feasibility that any fundraiser has, but they knew they wanted to do something in Virginia City on Fourth of July.
Everything started coming together, and they saw their ideas come to fruition when Virginia City Ventures donated the use of the land across from The Fourth Ward School. A few weeks ago, Maverick Sand and Gravel Excavation broke the ground on the site and the rest will be town history.
Fourth of July Schedule of Events
9:00 A.M. – Booth opens selling raffle tickets, wine walk tickets and event t-shirts (Red, White, & YOU Wine Walk $15) –Mustang Ranch info booth on C St
10:00 A.M. – Booth opens selling tickets for Shoot-Out on the Hill $30 – In front of the Ponderosa and the Bucket of Blood Saloon
11 A.M. – Devil’s Gate Gunfighters comedy show at C and Union Streets
12:00 P.M. – Parade begins
Immediate following parade – Shoot-Out on the Hill
1 P.M. – Red White and YOU Wine Walk begins
1:30 P.M. – Larry Elliott, as Uncle Sam, performs music and stories
6 P.M. – Free concert, Second Amendment Celebration Concert in Delta Parking lot
7 P.M. – Raffle and live auction
After Dark – Fireworks Spectacular
Celebrate Independence Day in one of America’s most patriotic towns, a symbol of the old west.
By Dawn Cranfield
Senior Correspondent / Product Specialist