It was only Lynne Gibbs' second year at the Mountain Oyster Fry in Virginia City, but it was enough to convince her it was worth the drive from Yerington.
"I'll keep coming back forever," Gibbs said.
Gibbs said she came with a group of friends called the "group of grandmas" that attend various activities throughout the year. Saturday, the plan was to take in the St. Patrick's Day parade and oyster fry in Virginia City.
Gibbs said that while she hadn't tried them all yet, her favorite cajones concoction was the fried oysters with cheese sauce cooked up by the Honest to Gawd team from Reno.
"I like those ones the best. They aren't trying to disguise it with any other flavors," Gibbs said.
John Blakemore, a member of the Honest to Gawd team, said they have gotten a lot of praise from the consumers in the 12 years they have been cooking at the event.
"We always seem to be pretty popular and everyone says they like us, but we never seem to win. We won once when we first came up here but nothing since," Blakemore said. "We just like coming up and partying in Virginia City. We have met some interesting people up here."
The competition features up to 20 pounds of fries per booth and all cooking must be done in the Bucket of Blood parking lot, without the advantage of electrical plug-ins.
Winners were crowned in the categories of Best Overall Taste, Most Creative Use of Flavors, Best Booth, Best First Time Cook and Best Presentation.
The team calling themselves the Not Kwite Rite Grill and Bait Shop was busy preparing their special Sloppy Joe's.
"We do it because it's great fun, but this year we are a little more organized. We got our cooking done earlier so we don't have to cook while we are serving," said Phyllis Sargent. "Plus we brought more margarita mix this year, and that's very important."
While the brave were tasting the wares in the parking lot, hundreds lined C Street for the traditional St. Patrick's Day Parade. Among those with a front-row seat were Rio Moreland and Shain Rice.
Rio said she didn't know a lot about the holiday, but did know about leprechauns.
"St. Patrick taught the Irish people how to read," Rio, 10, said. "Leprechauns are just small Irish people."
Farther down the route, Jacob and Kayla Card, both 7, had their own ideas about St. Patrick's Day.
"We have St. Patrick's Day because of the leprechauns," Kayla said.
Jacob said he knew why everyone wore green.
"Because then you don't get pinched."
The parade's grand marshall was Annabelle Shelley, a volunteer at St. Mary's Art Center in Virginia City for 42 years. The parade also included a performance by the Sierra Highlanders Pipe Band.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.
First: Virginia City Kazoo Band
Second: Sierra Highlanders
Third: Miriam Blanchette School of Irish Dance
First: Sons and Daughters of Erin, Reno
Second: Giant Leprechauns of Fresno
Third: Eagles, Virginia City Aerie Chapter #523
First: Pony Express Association
Second: Silver Springs 4-H Trotters
Third: Russ and Dani Amaru.
First: Ralf Ekenberg in a 1929 Ford Speedster
Second: Battle Born Early Ford V8 Club
Third: Vintage Ford Club of Northern Nevada.
Mountain Oyster Fry winners
Best Taste overall: Mel Carpenter of Mountain Oysters of Reno
Best Booth: The Casterelli Family, McCastrate Sisters; Nicki Wilson of Dayton
Best Newcomer: Alex and Sage Atreides of Virginia City with the Red Hot Leopard Spots
Best Presentation: Alex and Sage Atreides of Virginia City with the Red Hot Leopard Spots
Best Creativity: Alex and Sage Atreides of Virginia City with the Red Hot Leopard Spots