Revelers were not too proud to pick up their plastic bowls and slurp down some spicy free chili offered at the Nevada Day Chili Feed at the Carson Nugget on Saturday.
More than a few chili-stained shirts left the room by the end of the day as workers supplied gallons of ice water regularly to the thankful crowd. The dish had a kick to it, but left many happy people sneaking up for a second bowl.
Gov. Kenny Guinn and State Treasurer Brian Krolicki sponsored this year's feed. Banjo and fiddle music kept feet tapping and children boot-scooting along the dance floor as hundreds of people filled the upstairs room at the Carson Nugget.
Large round tables allowed everyone to pull up a chair, eat chili and get to know their neighbors.
"It's very good," said Fern Palmer, of Washoe County, who came to the event this year with her grown children. Palmer was one of the luckier chili fans who found a spot at the table. Many others pulled up a spot on the carpet or stood to eat after the crowds came in following the end of the parade.
The chili feed provided politicking campaign workers another chance to pass out fliers and promote their candidates, as they worked their way through the crowd. The display of politics was a reminder of fast-approaching elections on Nov. 5.
This year promised to be as popular as last year, as a record 400 gallons of chili was served, said Nevada first lady Dema Guinn, who took up a chair along with the crowd. She waited as her husband, Gov. Kenny Guinn, met with teens and children, shook hands and let parents to take pictures of him with their youngsters.
Gov. Guinn said he thought the day was magnificent.
"It's a day for Nevadans to come together to pay homage," Guinn said. "It's a proud day to be a Nevadan."