Declare independence from tyranny 'with a great flourish'

On July 4, 1776, John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence from England. He signed his name "with a great flourish" so King George could read it without spectacles.

Northern Nevada will celebrate the signing of the declaration "with a great flourish" on Sunday - Independence Day.

Several-hundred-foot bursts of colored fire will spray over the capital city, crackle above Lake Tahoe, and light up many other communities. Folks have several options for how to celebrate our independence from tyranny.

Here's a brief rundown:

Carson City's Mills Park will be the center of the action. The annual carnival will be accompanied by a free concert in the park. The Northern Nevada Bluegrass Association will perform on a stage under the cottonwoods before the fireworks start. Music doesn't get much more American than bluegrass - except for maybe rock 'n' roll ... and jazz ... and blues ... and hip hop. Oh well, it'll be terrific.

A 25-minute fireworks display worth about $15,000 will start sometime after dark. Hundreds of shells the size of honeydew melons will be launched from behind the high school to provide a spectacle.

The carnival and fireworks are fund-raisers for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, so it's a good cause. Money from ticket sales and vendor registration goes to the Hope Companion volunteers, who help seniors at home, and to the Life Line Program, which provides seniors with help when they need it.

The Nevada State Railroad Museum will be firing up the beautifully restored, 127-year-old steam engine "Inyo" from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The old Virginia & Truckee engine has been working in Nevada since April 1875. Engine No. 22 was nicknamed "The Brass Betsy" because of her highly polished brass work, including the bell and bell stand, steam dome, sand box casing, boiler jacket bands, cylinder jackets and running board edging.

The Inyo caught the eye of Hollywood. You might recall seeing it in "High, Wide and Handsome," "Union Pacific," "Red River" and "The Great Locomotive Chase."

This weekend you'll have a chance to see - and ride - the old engine in person. For details, call 687-8323.

The Sierra Philharmonic League will play soothing classical music in beautiful Genoa on Sunday during the 21st annual Pops in the Park. The event will be under green cottonwoods at Mormon Station, while the sun lights up Jobs Peak. It starts at 1 p.m. with a silent auction. Plenty of food and refreshments will be available. For details, call 267-2403.

Fireworks shows will be offered in Virginia City, Reno, Fernley and several communities around Lake Tahoe.

The Fernley and Virginia City events will last all day with parades down the main streets at 10 a.m. and noon, respectively.

In Fernley, everyone will head to Out of Town Park for live music, a watermelon-eating contest, horseshoe tournament, greased pig contest (if you catch the pig, you get to keep it), car show, food and craft booths, a full bar and kids games. The $12,000 fireworks show will start after dark.

Don't forget to celebrate with a flourish!

Contact Karl Horeis at or 881-1219.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment