A record crowd of 40,000 people is expected this weekend as the Carson City Rendezvous starts its 20th anniversary celebration with an evening concert featuring country music star Chris LeDoux.
The city's official "kick-off to summer" event, which started 20 years ago at Fairview Drive and Carson Street by business owner Tom Baker, has grown over the years to attract several exciting events, shows and food galore. It is now held at Mills Park and this weekend's events will begin at noon Friday, lasting until Sunday evening.
"It has evolved into what we feel is our largest summer event," said Candy Duncan, executive director of the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau.
A ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday when many of the original organizers of the Rendezvous will be given special awards and recognition, Duncan said.
The most exciting feature of the weekend will be the concert by LeDoux inside the Pony Express Pavilion. LeDoux's concert is the first in a summer series that will feature jazz, gospel, American roots revival and New Orleans dance music.
This year's food selection will include egg rolls, teriyaki, Mexican pizzas and root beer floats to accompany the usual lemonade, kettle corn, funnel cakes, turkey legs, Indian tacos and barbecue ribs. Adults will also find margaritas, pina coladas and beer.
A Dutch oven cook-off will take place Sunday, with public tasting available for $1 a taste. Food will include a breakfast cook-off, breads, desserts and a variety of main course meals, said food and crafts coordinator Maxine Nietz.
"Their food is absolutely gourmet and delicious," Nietz said. Tastings begin at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Visitors to this year's event will be treated to historical scenes, taking them back to the days of mountain men, Scottish clans, civil war battles, Old West gun fights and the Pony Express times.
Also featured will be an American Indian village and dancing, arts and crafts, a Hispanic celebration called Pueblo de Nevada, music, train rides and camel rides.
Parking will be available in the Carson High School parking lot and limited space is available on Highway 50 along the park grounds. Shuttle rides will be offered to and from Mills Park.
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