The first-ever Statehood Stomp started hopping with the band Exit 22's rendition of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson's "Good-Hearted Woman" on Saturday in the Fuji Park Exhibit Hall.
The event, a fund-raiser for the Nevada Day Parade and Kiwanis, featured all-you-can eat chicken and ribs by Carson City BBQ Co., country music by Exit 22 and Rick Hayes and the American Steel Band. There was also a no-host bar.
"We needed some money; sponsorship is really down this year," said Virginia Nuzum, president of Nevada Day Inc.
"It costs a lot to put on the parade -- about $65,000 to $75,000. We had some dot-com-type sponsors and they let us know this time last year that they wouldn't be able to sponsor again so we thought we'd give this a shot" Nuzum said.
With the balloon-decorated tables filling up by 6 p.m. the event looked like a safe bet to bring in some funds for the parade.
Asked just how much he hoped to make, Ron Bowman with Carson City Kiwanis said, "It'd be nice if we could make $10,000."
"That's about what we need," laughed Nuzum.
Despite the loss of some sponsors, Nevada Day Inc. member Al Christianson said there is still a major supporter of the parade.
"We're lucky enough to have the Carson City Gaming Commission as our big sponsor," he said. "With all the Indian gaming going on they could have been uncomfortable with our theme but they have been very nice."
The theme for this year's parade is "Nevada is Indian Territory -- Three Nations, One Territory." The three nations refer to Paiute, Shoshone and Washoe. Because there are both north and south groups of Paiute, there will be four grand marshals -- one representing each nation.
The parade will include many annual favorites: The 8 a.m. hot air balloon lift off from South Carson Street in front of Gottschalk's (weather permitting); the rock drilling competition; the Sierra Highlanders bagpipe performance and trophies given out for award-winning parade entries.
New this year is an exhibition of mining and a mine-mucking demonstration by the University of Nevada, Reno mining team.
Other performances will include the Elko Band, the Carson City Choral Group, Exit 22, Deja Blues performing their "electric blues" at Mom & Pop's Diner and the Mile High Jazz Band playing at Comma Coffee.
At Saturday's Statehood Stomp, Little People Portraits was snapping photos of folks in a rustic vintage cart -- giving 25 percent of their earnings to the parade and Kiwanis to split.
"We take this portable setup to kids' school and sporting events," said Don Langson at the booth.
The set up included old western-style clothing for people to wear in the pictures.
"A lot of it is breakaway stuff," said Langson, pointing to velcro fasteners which make for easy on and off.
Nuzum seemed happy with the outcome of the event.
"It's nice to see the community come out," she said.
YOU CAN HELP
To donate to the Nevada Day Parade, call the Nevada Day office at 882-2600.