While the ground-breaking of phase two of the Highway 395 bypass is the new big thing for Carson City, I want to pay respect to the city's Nevada Day celebration.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not discounting the highway bypass. The second phase of the highway expansion is a very big deal. Some people didn't believe it would happen. Believe me, I have become an unconditional believer in the benefits of the first phase of the highway bypass. The bypass has cut a good 10 to 15 minutes of my drive time to Reno.
Prior to the bypass completion, it would take me longer to drive from the Nevada Appeal building in Southeast Carson to College Parkway than it would from College Parkway to Reno.
But once the highway expansion is completed in 2013 or 2014 or whenever, and the tires hit the road, people will naturally forget (if they knew at all) the purpose of the bypass. To many, it will be as if it was always there, and transits won't care anyway. When traveling to another town, did you ever devote ample thought to the benefits of a highway or bypass? I think not. You just drive and try your best to look out for the screwballs on the road who think they know how to drive.
When the bypass is finally ready for use, I'll be happy, but I won't be excited. Not like I am for Nevada Day every year. I realize that I am comparing two entirely different things here. To some of you, my comparison will make no sense. But when you think about it, the Nevada Day celebration is something that serves to describe the allure of the Carson City community. A highway bypass is more like a utility for travel. The reason I say Nevada Day is more significant than the highway development is the special excitement and buying power it generates.
I have read some of the negative words being thrown like so many rocks at the parade that is the centerpiece of Nevada Day. Aside from bars, restaurants, and casinos, some businesses can say that the day puts a lock on their cash register, but in the long run, I think it is just one more unique virtue of our city that keeps cash registers in general open for business.
I know, you've heard it all before. You've seen it all before. Some of the irrepressible negativists complain of the traffic, the noise, and the horses dumping their fertile tokens of appreciation up and down Carson Street. I say, for that one day, that one glorious day, that we applaud the traffic, contribute to the noise, and even accept the refuse piles of the city's mounted posse horses.
Personally, I have yet to see a city remain so clean during and after a major parade like that of Nevada Day as does Carson City. I probably never will either. When this year's parade ended, my wife and I were standing on the west side of Carson Street across from the Nevada State Legislature building. Within minutes of the final promenade, the city's street sweepers were out as if part of the procession, cleaning all debris from the road.
Then, the city's law enforcement vehicles moved steadily down Carson Street, symbolically pushing the cleaning efforts southward and ensuring order from beginning to end of the parade's ceremonial path.
Impressive. Very impressive. Just one more example of what makes Carson City such a rarity among other cities.
• John DiMambro is publisher of the Appeal. You can reach him at email@example.com