Virginia City festival season kicks off Saturday
March 16, 2013
Virginia City's annual salute to spring arrives Saturday on the Comstock. The 22nd annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry — also known as the Testicle Festival — and St. Patrick's Day Parade returns 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
Each year, about 20 cooks stir up culinary masterpieces featuring mountain oysters — the tasty byproduct of bull castration. The cooking and tasting goes from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Delta Saloon parking lot next to the Bucket of Blood.
"Rocky Mountain Oysters are kind of a unique experience," said Allyson Reedland, of RKPR which promotes the event. "They're not for everyone. But if you're going to eat them, you want to eat them in Virginia City."
A range of tasting kits will be offered starting with the Skeptical About Testicles kit with three-tastings for $5.
The Rocky Mountain Oyster festival and St. Patrick's Day Parade typically draws an average of 3,000 people with about 12,000 tastes of the delicacy.
"There will be more vendor than we've ever had," Reedland said. That includes more cooks and the event is open this year other types of vendors
Also new this year is an oyster eating contest and a Leprechaun Crawl.
There will be three heats in the eating contest, with both team and individual entrants. Unique Virginia City event keepsakes, including giant engraved flasks, will be awarded to contest winners.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade is a favorite family activity. It begins at noon at the Fourth Ward School and marches along "C" Street.
Ron James, Nevada State Preservation Officer, is grand marshal. Other entries include the Minden Irish Dancers, Giant Leprechauns of Fresno and more.
Other features of the day include a beer garden, live Irish music, costume contest, street magicians and balloon animals.