Nevadans celebrate Independence Day

Shannon Litz / Nevada Appeal

Shannon Litz / Nevada Appeal

Despite temperatures in the mid-90s, western Nevada residents from Gardnerville to Virginia City seemed to be enjoying the various Independence Day events.

Travis Hartshorn and his mother Deborah Todd were driving by Heritage Park in Gardnerville, after buying daughter Hailey a wading pool, when he noticed the huge inflatable water slide.

“I made a mistake and said ‘bounce house and, whoa,’” he said. For the next hour he said he couldn’t keep Hailey off the slide until, finally, he too joined the kids sliding down the wet plastic slope put up at the park by Bounce and Play of Gardnerville.

The Ruhenstroth resident said they stayed in the area for Independence Day.

“We didn’t go anywhere because we’d have to put up with the crowd,” he said.

The crowd also brought Jerry and April burns of San Diego to Carson City.

“We went to see the fireworks at Lake Tahoe,” she said “They said you’d have to be in line from 3 a.m., so we came down here.”

That was OK by Jerry who, as a member of the San Diego Garden Railroad Society wanted to see the Nevada State Railroad Museum. He said they planned instead to watch Carson City’s fireworks from Mills Park.

In Virginia City, more than 150 entries lined up along the main drag for the annual July 4th parade.

Among, them, Leslie Lima said this was her first time at the event. She came prepared driving her 1932 Chevy Coupe complete with rumble seat. Lima said she just moved to the Comstock from Fallon.

“I said I’m going to move up here and see if I can get in trouble here,” she said.

Numerous military groups queued up for the parade’s scheduled noon start from Korean War to Vietnam and the nation’s more recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Among them were the members of the All Women Veterans’ Color Guard Celia Ranson said they originally believed they were unique in the nation but have since discovered a second woman’s color guard in Fresno. Ranson said they are encouraging women veterans to join the group, which represents the VA Hospital in Reno. Those interested can contact her at

Also in the parade was state Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, who brought daughters Caitlyn and Sabrina to help remind folks he’s up for re-election next year.

There also were events in Silver Springs, Fort Churchill, Genoa, Minden and Gardnerville along with the major fireworks show at Stateline along Lake Tahoe’s South Shore.

While most seemed to be enjoying the day, both NHP troopers and deputies said they expected more work as evening comes.

Troopers said there were some problems as people were turned away from Sand Harbor at Lake Tahoe. Spokesman Chuck Allen said the parking lot for that popular beach was filled almost immediately after the gates opened Thursday morning, forcing parks personnel and law enforcement to direct drivers to Incline Village where some got a shuttle ride to the beach.


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