Carnival kicks off Nevada Day celebration

Rick Fowler/ Nevada Appeal Tyson Alwings of Washington State, assembles the YoYo ride on October 28, 2003 in Mills Park for the upcoming carnival.

Rick Fowler/ Nevada Appeal Tyson Alwings of Washington State, assembles the YoYo ride on October 28, 2003 in Mills Park for the upcoming carnival.

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program will present its 18th annual Nevada Days Celebration in Mills Park Thursday through Sunday to honor Nevada's 139th birthday.

The community will be treated to a fireworks show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

New rides plus midway games for the family will be brought in by Midway West Amusements Carnival. All-day ride passes are $17 ($10 on Thursday only), and individual ride tickets will also be available.

In addition to the carnival and midway, food, beverages and arts and crafts will be offered. Food favorites include Indian tacos, kettlekorn, barbecue, bratwurst, hot dogs and funnel cakes.

Arts and crafts will border the "scream machines" (carnival rides) and include American Indian art, African baskets, Black Hills gold and silver, specialty clothing and blankets, wood carvings, porcelain figurines, decorative items and novelties.

"We will have fireworks, but this will probably be the last year for the whole thing," said Janice Ayres, executive director for the Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program. "Unless somebody else is willing to do the fireworks."

Ayres said having the fireworks with the carnival event keeps people around the carnival, helping make money for the vendors.

"Without them (fireworks), the carnival probably won't come back. They haven't done too well either the last couple of years. That along with cold weather keeps people away."

Ayres said it's difficult and costly to put on a fireworks show. The price for 15 minutes is $15,000.

"Unless we can get money for the fireworks, we're not too sure we're going to do the Fourth of July. It's a wonderful event and we're happy to do it for the community. But we can't do it and go into the hole. It defeats our purpose."

Proceeds from the carnival benefit the Home Companion program, which served about 750 people last year. For the program, there are about 300 volunteers. The cost to RSVP to put a volunteer into service is about $500, and each volunteer can take care of two to three people.

"It's a valuable service," Ayres said. "It keeps many, many people in their home rather than face a care facility and the cost of $60,000 to $80,000 (a year) to live in one. Thank God we have a governor who sees the benefit of this program."

Parallel parking will be allowed adjacent to the shoulder of East William Street along Mills Park for all days of the event. Construction crews have been working on a new bike path along the north side of the park. Parks and Recreation Director Steve Kastens said work will be halted during the Nevada Days celebration.

- To volunteer for RSVP, call 687-4680 or (800) 992-0900, ext. 4680; or go to


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