With panoply and prideful patter aplenty, the Nevada Sesquicentennial Fair collected superlatives during a ceremony starting it officially on Thursday.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Carson City Mayor Robert Crowell wielded giant scissors to snip a ribbon at Fuji Park and Fairgrounds, taking on that task after both delivered remarks appropriate to the occasion. Onlookers included many youths, a fair passel of adults and one grizzled older-looking fellow bedecked in a white suit named Mark (McAvoy Layne) Twain, also once known in these parts as Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
“This fair is really special,” said the governor, mentioning it comes in the midst of Nevada celebrating 150 years of statehood. “How does it get any better than to have Mark Twain with us?” Twain/Clemens, the 19th and early 20th century writer portrayed by Layne, originally was from the Show Me state of Missouri as the governor acknowledged. Despite that, “he’ll always be a Nevadan,” Sandoval said.
Show me was sort of the order of the day, as Crowell and Sandoval demonstrated. Crowell did it with a proclamation he keyed to community pride for putting on the fair. He said the city’s Board of Supervisors directed on Oct. 3, 2013, the fair be held this summer, and city staff, the business community and others pulled together to get the job done. He said it’s a boon for 4H or FFA members and other young persons of the state.
In the show-and-tell portion, Crowell presented the governor with a community coin and Sandoval reciprocated, delivering a state coin to the mayor.
Sandoval also recognized Senior Judge Robey Willis, who spearheaded initial and continuing community support for holding the fair. Sandoval presented Willis with a Nevada 150 commemorative license plate.
The governor in his remarks referred to the fun young people can have by involving themselves in agriculture-related pursuits such as those featured at the fair, recalling his own days in 4H while growing up in Nevada.
“I was a sheep kid,” he told the young people gathered for the ceremony.
That 11 a.m. ceremony began with presentation of the colors, the pledge of allegiance and a rendition of the National Anthem by John Tyson, the broadcaster who also served as master of ceremonies. The ribbon-cutting was actually on the fair’s second day, though there were just a few events Wednesday:
The junior horse show, and the pee wee cavy/rabbit show.
The five-day fair, which runs through Sunday, is the kind of marquee event City Manager Nick Marano would like to see regularly in the community. On hand for the ribbon-cutting, he said he envisions big events in each season of the year. He also as much as endorsed continuing the fair, though added he wants to see what the turnout is for this first one in Carson City.
“I think it’s a good idea if Carson City has an annual fair,” he said.
Joel Dunn, Carson City Visitors Bureau executive director, also was on hand and enthusiastic. He said the fair, Hot August Nights in Reno and other events at this time of year have lodging properties here full. He said a check more than three weeks ago determined only a couple of rooms were left for this period at the city’s top 13 hotels.
“All booked,” he said. “It’s outstanding.”