John Barrette

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August 6, 2014
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Fair reviews pretty fair, not partly cloudy

Fair to middlin’ fair despite prospects for fair to partly cloudy. In the end, those who put themselves on the hook avoided a bomb by pulling it off with aplomb.

The Nevada Sesquicentennial Fair at Fuji Park and Fairgrounds over the weekend was branded a success by people who put heart, soul and the place where saddle sores go on the line to get it done in a relatively short time frame. There were more than a few hurdles to clear. Those involved deserve credit for a creditable first-time event.

“I think the turnout for the fair met our expectations,” said City Manager Nick Marano. Looking forward, he said, there is potential “for some type of a repeat.” He said there were good comments from folks in the community, vendors, exhibitors and most participating who offered up an opinion. Marano, who became city manager June 2, in less than two months saw eight or nine months of work come together well.

“All in all,’ he said, “I think it was a great community event and I want to congratulate Marena.” That’s Marena Works, the deputy and former interim city manager who shepherded the event along from the idea’s inception last autumn through Sunday’s final night at Fuji. The new city manager also gave credit to Susan Taylor, the California fair consultant and manager brought in to oversee the complexities of this first fair in the state capital.

Works and Taylor got kudos from Ronni Hannaman, Chamber of Commerce executive director, whose own role to push the event wasn’t small. Hannaman,a Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee member, had advocated using redevelopment funds to upgrade the park and fairgrounds to handle the fair and future events for which the grounds may be rented.

“Two women did this,” said Hannaman, naming Works and Taylor. “It was two women who pulled this off with a lot of volunteers.” She also tossed a bouquet to the Fandango Casino and Galaxy Theater complex for providing parking so the city could shuttle fair patrons from their vehicles to the fairgrounds and back.

The Chamber sponsored David John and the Comstock Cowboys, music headliners, for a stellar Friday night arena stage performance despite electrical Rice Krispies — the periodic snap, crackle and pop of a haywire sound system. David John channeled Johnny Cash at one point, but offered plenty of his own songs as well. The group’s final flourish for the audience of 500 was a rousing twin fiddle rendition of Orange Blossom Special.

Reports are arena seats were packed even more for Ranch Rodeo performances, and the midway drew good weekend crowds. Works, meanwhile, declared herself “really pleased” and said she walked around at times “almost in awe” because people of all ages were having fun. “There were so many families there,” she said, branding the fair “absolutely, hands down” as a success.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 6, 2014 12:35AM Published Aug 6, 2014 12:35AM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.