Gina Bianchi, 9, learned Tuesday that she will be able to ride on a float in this year's Nevada Day Parade.
"I never rode on a float before, and it sounds cool," Gina said.
Gina and Dillon Moore, 10, were selected as winners of a poster contest sponsored by the Capital City Humane Society and Court Appointed Special Advocates For Children at Fritsch Elementary School.
"We thought maybe it would be something different," said Betty Horrocks, vice president of the humane society. "I thought it would be nice for the children to take part and be able to draw animals."
The 64 entries submitted by third-and fourth-graders were judged Tuesday morning by a panel made up of Horrocks, Isabel Young, president of the humane society, and Mayor Ray Masayko.
"It was enjoyable," Masayko said. "It was nice to see the children's creativity."
Both winners were inspired by their own pets.
"I have a dog of my own," Dillon said. "I tried to make it look like my dog."
Gina also started out with the intention of replicating her dog.
"At first, I wanted to draw my dog, but it turned out to be shorter than my dog so I added some more animals and it turned out pretty neat," she said.
The final product featured a dog surrounded by other animals ranging from a hamster and turtle to a pig and a horse.
Gina was most excited to tell her dad the news.
"He's never won a contest before and neither have I," Gina said. "I think he'll be excited to hear about it."
Young said the poster contest was a way to involve children in the parade, which is designed to be a community event. She was pleased with the entries.
"It was very difficult to make a decision; they were all wonderful," Young said. "We would like to make every one of them a winner."
The two winners will hold up their art work as they ride on the float. The other posters will be displayed on the float.
Dave Albers, principal of Fritsch Elementary School, said he was happy with the project.
"We're pleased to work with the humane society," he said. "Nothing touches kids' hearts more than the ability to express themselves through art and it's a topic they love - animals."
He is excited for the winners but sees a greater purpose in encouraging students to work with animals.
"By caring for animals, we learn how to care for others," he said.