Carson celebrates the Fourth

Jim Grant/Nevada AppealFireworks light up the sky over the ferriswheel at the RSVP Fourth of July Carnival on Monday.

Jim Grant/Nevada AppealFireworks light up the sky over the ferriswheel at the RSVP Fourth of July Carnival on Monday.

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Carson City celebrated July 4 quietly Monday with rides on the state Railroad Museum's prize steam engines and a carnival in Mills Park.

In honor of the nation's birthday, the bell tower chimes at the historic federal court building on Carson Street played the Star Spangled Banner every hour on the hour through the day.

With temperatures hovering in the low 90s and scarcely a cloud in the sky, many decided to wait until later in the afternoon before heading for Mills Park to watch the 9 p.m. fireworks display. Shaded spaces beneath the trees drew the first arrivals but, by 6 p.m., there were more than 250 gathered mostly in family groups, barbecuing and picnicking. Most of the teens were drawn to the carnival rides, which were doing a strong business after opening at noon.

Deputies assigned to the park said everything was quiet and friendly to that point.

"I'm just sitting here doing a little people watching," said Carela Estrada of Washoe Valley.

She said she was looking forward to the fireworks, which she missed last year because she was out of town.

As for the carnival, she said, "I'm not a big carnival person."

Richard and Dee King of Carson City said they probably wouldn't still be there for the fireworks, that they came to the park to let three teenage grandchildren hit the carnival rides.

She too said part of the fun was to just "sit back and watch everybody."

Grover Webber, a recent transplant from El Centro, Calif., said this would be his first July 4 in Carson City. He referred to the weather as nice compared to his former home which routinely sees 100-plus summer days.

At the south end of town, volunteer workers at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, said they had several hundred riders.

Their two prize exhibits, the steam engines Inyo and Engine 25 were both hauling visitors around the mile long loop of track, as was the historic McKeen Car.

It also gave the museum the chance to show off its newly remodeled museum, paid for by a half-million dollar federal grant.

Those selling tickets said the museum drew visitors this weekend from as far away as Germany and Scotland, as close as Reno, and from numerous cities on the west coast.

He said overall it was a great weekend.

The Capitol itself proved a draw this holiday as well. A steady stream of visitors walked the halls of the 140-year-old building and the museum upstairs. By 5 p.m. when the doors were locked, Capitol Police said 55 visitors had gone through the Capitol Monday.


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