It was a rare assemblage that gathered in front of the Fourth Ward School in Virginia City on the Fourth of July.
On its steps, a group of women, aged 50 to 103 and dressed in purple hats and red dresses, met as the Comstock Red Hat Society.
Just down below, four men - one carrying a Confederate flag - wore gray uniforms and talked of the heat they were suffering as the Comstock Civil War Re-Enactors.
To the right, the sound of bagpipers came from the Sierra Highlanders Pipe Band, its members dressed in white tops and red, orange, yellow and white tartan kilts.
"The Fourth of July is what America's all about," said bagpiper Robert Bledsaw.
Down the road from the school, thousands of people lined Virginia City's sidewalks in anticipation of the annual parade, which got off to a 15-minute late start, not unusual for Comstock Time.
About 12:15 p.m., the first parade entry, featuring singers Captain and Tenille, passed Mound House resident Henry Park, who had waited patiently, a digital camera dangling over his right wrist, a pencil, glasses case and notebook in his shirt pocket, for the parade to start.
"I like the Fourth of July," he said. "For all its faults, I like the United States. I think for all we do that's wrong, it's a great country."
Monday was the first time Park had visited Virginia City in about 10 years to see the parade.
"I wanted to come and see it again," he said. "I used to live in Silver City."
He began snapping shots as the Sierra Highlanders, Uncle Sam on kilts, the Comstock Re-Enactors and 103-year-old Katherine "Grandma" Yoder, Virginia City's oldest resident, passed by.
On an ATV.
With a red-white-and-blue stars-and-stripes bandana around her head, Yoder held on tightly to Kathy Van Nostrand, who drove the yellow four-wheeler.
"Here we go!" Van Nostrand yelled. "Hang on, Grandma!"
Near the Virginia City Jerky Co., Sparks resident Sheila Neill pushed 2-year-old Dawson in a stroller. Four-year-old Casey walked alongside.
"My husband is here with the Scottish color guard," she said. "It's always fun to come to Virginia City. Dawson's not too fond of the loud fire crackers."
Neither was Megan Goodale, 8, of Carson City. The pig-tailed girl, who was seeing Virginia City's parade for the first time, plugged her fingers in her ears. However, it turns out she actually liked the blanks being fired by the Virginia City's Gunshooters' muzzles.
"I like the shooting thing 'cuz it's exciting," Megan said.
Chad Henshaw, and his mother, Janet, from Reno, waited across the street for Chad's friend Todd to march by with Project WalkAbout, a juvenile-delinquent program from Reno.
In front of the Bucket of Blood Saloon, revelers on a second-story patio emptied the contents of their cups onto two rowdy men.
Friendly Walker hounds from the English horse riders float found their way into the shade of the covered sidewalks and cool stores, one four-legging it directly into Red Garter Western Wear.
Across the street, Kit Weaver of Carson City leaned back against a wall, protected by the overhang from the bright sun and heavy heat.
"It's hard to say (which was my favorite float.) The main thing was just the quantity of floats, the amount of cars and the amount of people," he said. "It's a great afternoon with great weather. My only complaint is I'm in the back row, and I can't get any candy."
n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at email@example.com or 881-1219.