Sparks are scheduled to fly Friday night at dusk over Mills Park again this year in an Independence Day salute that draws the gaze of not only hundreds gathered in the park, but of thousands who watch from rooftops around town.
But the annual Fourth of July display is just one of a long list of events planned for the holiday weekend.
n Sparks will also fly at the Nevada State Railroad Museum on Carson Street when the Inyo locomotive steams up Friday morning. Museum staff will watch for sparks from the stack of its wood-burning engine.
"The Inyo is the oldest operating steam locomotive in the country -- it's 127 years old, and it still has its original boiler shell," said John Frink, program coordinator for the museum.
Seeing the engine in action is a rare treat, he said.
The last time the Inyo steamed up for anything other than the Fourth of July was when it was filmed for the PBS special "A House Divided" in 1998.
The old engine is a star of film and television, having been used by Paramount Pictures in the movies "High, Wide and Handsome," "Red River," Union Pacific" and "The Great Locomotive Chase."
The engine was been dubbed "Brass Betsy" because of its large amount of shiny brass fixtures.
"The volunteers spend a lot of time polishing up that brass," Frink said.
The Inyo will run from about 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, followed each day by the regular passenger train hauling from about 11- 4 p.m. An old-fashioned freight train will rotate with the passenger train, while the Inyo will be parked out back for all to see. Call 687-6953 for information on museum events.
n Retired and Senior Volunteer Program's 11th annual Carnival at Mills Park is another classic ingredient in many Carson City folks' Independence Day experience.
Entry to the carnival is free with all-day, all-ride tickets $18.
"Or you can buy individual, per-ride tickets," RSVP volunteer Velda Kennedy said.
The carnival is Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon until midnight and from noon until 11 p.m. Sunday.
The fireworks go off at dusk -- or maybe a half an hour later.
"And of course, there's all kinds of good food and drink," Kennedy said.
Call her or another RSVP volunteer for details on the carnival at 687-4680.
n The Carson City Republican Central Committee will host its annual Fourth of July picnic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fuji Park Pavilion.
"We're honoring veterans from the Korean War, World War II and on up to the present conflict," said Gene Munnings, picnic coordinator.
The Grand Old Party will offer hot dogs, hamburgers and Italian sausages, and the Jolly Trolley will be there making snow cones.
Entertainment will be provided by accordion player Mel Woodgate and state champion trumpet player Tyson Reed. Call 882-6368 for details
n Other events in the capital on Friday include the Firecracker Fourth of July Fun Run at 8 a.m. in Riverview Park, a benefit for American Legion Capital Post No. 4; and the Three-day Blowout Yard Sale at the Roberts House Museum starting at 9 a.m. Friday and featuring antiques, books, collectibles, coins, crafts, jewelry, woodworking items and more. Call 887-8865.