Nationally-known competitive skateboarders, four-by-four wheeling exhibitions, popular bands and beer-tasting vans were all brought Saturday to the revamped Carson Valley Days celebration.
A weekend that once consisted of a small parade, a craft fair and food now is expected to attract more than 20,000 people, said Ben Pridhim, president of the 20/30 Club that coordinates the event.
"The event has been put on in the same way for so long," said Jeremy Davidson, event coordinator for the 20/30 Club. "We added new stuff. It keeps getting bigger and bigger and as the valley grows, we will just keep adding events."
Spectators gathered all day to watch Andrew Reynolds, one of the country's top skateboarders, perform with about 15 other professional skaters in the Emerica Baker Skateboards West Coast Tour. It was presented by Carson City's Out of Bounds Board Shop.
Large boulders were hauled to an empty lot near Lampe Park, creating a rock obstacle for a four-wheeling show. Live music from the Chantays, a surf-music band, and the McHayes, a country western duo, filled the park. Bud World, provided by the Budweiser company, allowed people to watch a movie on the history of the company, meet a brewmaster and participate in a beer-tasting session.
"The event never even had live music before," Davidson said. "We have made a lot of changes."
Despite all the modifications, the traditional Saturday-morning parade still had a small-town feel.
Lloyd Higuera, owner KGVM Radio in Gardnerville, has been announcing the parade for 17 years. He said he appreciates the quaint nature of the parade.
"This is a small-town event, not a high-powered glitz parade," he said. "You see your friends and neighbors and when you know those on the float you can make off-the-cuff comments."
This year's theme was "luau in the valley." Floats adorned with grass skirts, hula girls, leis, parrots, sand and exotic flowers, traveled from the Minden Park to Lampe Park.EThe parade had more than 100 floats.E
Teenagers attacked each other with streams of silly string and shaving cream. Children collected candy and leis, being thrown from nearly every float.
"The parade is the best part, but I like the things at the park and all the silly string," said Abigail Ford, a six-year-old who collected a grocery bag full of goodies.
The Society for Preservation of Lawn Art Statues won the award for the best float in the miscellaneous category. Dozens of pink flamingos and other popular yard statues adorned their vehicle. They shouted their motto, "Lawn art rules," as members marched through the street.
Renea Louie was grand marshal of the parade. She received the 20-30 Club's Citizen of the Year award.
Pridhim said he hopes to raise more than $80,000 during the weekend. All the funds will help give underprivileged children a chance to play team sports, he added.
"Every year I have tried to make Carson Valley Days the best ever and I might succeed my goal this year," said Pridhim, who has been planning the weekend for seven months. "When you put your heart into it you should expect outrageous results."
a Non commercial - Douglas County Employees
a Commercial- West Coast Martial Arts
a Service club- Sierra Nevada Active 20-30 Women's Club
a Non Service club- Sierra Sagebrush Flyers
a Youth Group- Carson Valley Girls' Softball Association
a Marching Band/Musical Entry - Carson Valley Bands
a Marching/Drill Team Unit - Mountain Warfare Color Guard
a Antique Vehicle - Valley Cruisers Car Club
a Engine Company- Fish Springs Volunteer Fire Department
a Miscellaneous- Lawn Art Rules
a Large Hitch (3+) Horse/Mule Drawn - Wells Fargo Bank
a Mounted Group, Uniformed club/service group - Douglas County 4H
a Best Dressed Cowboy/Cowgirl (18 and over) - Douglas County Jr.
E Rodeo Queen Rebecca Trute
a Best Dressed Cowboy/Cowgirl (17 and under) - Catelyn and Hunter Carver