Dayton Valley Days continues today

Wendell Newman, of Carson, rolls through town on a tractor during the Dayton Days parade Saturday.

Wendell Newman, of Carson, rolls through town on a tractor during the Dayton Days parade Saturday.

Wendell Newman drove his red, refinished 1944 Farmall tractor in the parade during Dayton Valley Days Saturday.

"It was a pretty nice parade," Newman said. "The turnout was better than two years ago -- I wasn't here last year."

He bought the Farmall a few years ago in Smith Valley.

"It was the same color as the weeds," he chuckled. "Pretty rusty."

He and members of his group, the Northern Nevada Antique Power Club, joined horses, motorcycles, wagons and children in the annual parade.

Dayton Valley Days, which continues today, has been organized for the last three years by the Lyon County Sheriff's Department's Search and Rescue group.

"We try to make it a community, family-oriented event," said event coordinator Patty Polish, the search and rescue group's vice commander.

There are about 90 booths along the main street this year, she said.

Several games are planned for today including a noodle-sucking contest, watermelon eating contest and the game that involves getting to chin to chin with someone -- pass the apple.

"We try to keep the old-fashioned spirit of street festivals," said Gail Burchett, also of Lyon search and Rescue.

"We were hoping to have 3,500 people over the weekend but I think we've done that already today," Polish said. "I'm sure we have."

"They've done a great job," said Charlie Harrall, president of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce, strolling the street in a gray suit and white cowboy hat.

"I think Dayton Valley Days has progressed this year to become a very nice community event. Dayton is growing, but it also has a (more than) 150-year history."

Harrall, who has four daughters, a son, seven grandsons and one granddaughter, said he wants Dayton to be family-friendly.

"That's the great thing about these festivals," he said. "They're a great place to bring the family for the day."

Vinnie Gasbarro of Riverpark brought his family out Saturday, including daughter Oliva, 2, sons Conner, 5 and Jake, 7, and parents, Dan and Carolyn Belcher.

"We got here just before the parade started, I had some barbecue, got the kids some toys -- it's been a fun day," Gasbarro said.

His son Conner went in into a vendor's tent with his new plastic machine gun.

"I've never had someone come up to me with a gun and give me money," the vendor joked.

Del Minor and her daughter Julie Suteich were also spending quality time as a family. They were offering free tours of the old jail for the Dayton Museum Historical Society and selling lemonade.

Suteich let people pull the rope to ring the bell and her mother showed folks the signatures inmates have left on the walls.

"We need to preserve these buildings," she said, pointing to a paragraph written in red pencil by 16-year-old wrongdoer Joe E. Gillette in 1915.

"On the 13 day of March I was caught and am now on my way back to Elko and was locked up here," he wrote.

A group of Cub Scouts was exploring the 5-foot-wide steel cells.

Outside Boy Scout Julian Ballatore, 12, was riding around on his scooter. He and other members of Troop 100 were helping the Nevada Army National Guard recruiting office with their climbing wall.

On the west end of the street, author Stanley Paher -- known for his "Ghost Towns of Nevada" books -- was signing and selling books at a 12 percent discount.

"This is small-town entertainment at its best," he said. "Horsemen, fire engines, ice cream -- the whole bit."

He'll be giving a slide show Tuesday at the Nevada State Museum about the gold rushes to Virginia City and Bodie.


Here are some of the events taking place at day two of Dayton Valley Days in old-town Dayton:

7 a.m. Kiwanis pancake breakfast

8 a.m. 10 k walk/run begins at Dayton Park

8 a.m. -2 p.m. Carson Tahoe Wellness Check in the community center

9 a.m. Pinewood derby

10 a.m. Pet parade (last year included pigs, lizards and lady bugs)

11 a.m. United Blood Services begins taking donations

11:30 a.m. wagon rides begin and continue throughout the day

4 p.m. Drawing for winner of "wheelbarrow full of goodies"


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