Patriotism on display

Fourth of July festivities will start at 10 a.m. Monday with the parade commencing at Taylor Street, and the patriotic spirit will continue throughout the day at the fairgrounds.

Bring your folding chairs, unfold your blankets and get ready to have a good time with your community. The day’s activities will include live music, food vendors, kids games and crafts, a watermelon-eating contest, time to barbecue back home if you want, and of course fireworks at the Rattlesnake Raceway.

“It’s a nice, full Fourth of July,” said Dan Gleich, Churchill County recreation supervisor and organizer of the event.

After having fun at the fairgrounds, he said, you can have a flexible rest of the day before the fireworks.

“You can go home,” he said, “take a nap, have plenty of time to barbecue with the family and relax, then around 9 p.m. — once it’s dark — you can enjoy the fireworks.”

This year’s parade grand marshal is Ruth Bianci, age 101. Bianci raised a family here on a farm and played host to dozens of Navy service members. She also worked at places such as the Dew Drop Inn and Safeway, and was active in community groups including the Neighbors of Woodcraft.

The Fallon Churchill Fairgrounds will open its gates at 10:30 a.m., followed by the National Anthem performed by 4-H children. Bands will then start taking the stage, featuring the musicians Alex “Muddy” Smith, the Larry and Dineen Duet, and the group Southbound Train from Carson City.

Smith is a singer/songwriter who does a little bit of everything including rock, country, blues and jazz. He’ll be performing some original songs including “The Doublewide Song,” which placed as one of the best original tunes of the year in a songwriting competition by the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Larry Little and Dineen Caseday, who’ve been performing together for about a decade, will be doing patriotic and somewhat country music with Byron Sorenson and Jim Morgan.

SouthBound Train is a classic rock cover band with blues and country tendencies. Between SouthBound’s five members, they have more than 100 years of performing experience and “love to rock,” according to their website,

The watermelon-eating contest is for all ages and starts at 1:15 p.m. The contest will be announced, and those interested in participating can head to the stage.

Inside the fairgrounds’ multi-purpose building, there will be kids activities hosted by 4-H from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. These will include sand art, a coloring station, Frisbee golf, ladder ball, a cupcake walk, stomp rockets, sack races, stick-horse races, a dummy roping competition and more.

“We do have a new roping show in the main arena during the day,” Gleich said. “It adds a nice element for people … some rodeo entertainment … We’ve made little additions to make it better every year.”

For those looking to enjoy nature over the holiday weekend, your options include Lahontan State Park, Rye Patch State Park and Fort Churchill State Park. These areas offer beach picnicking spots, hiking trails, campgrounds and more.

Park entry or camping and boating prices are slightly cheaper if you’re a Nevada resident. Sites are on a first-come, first-served basis. The parks don’t fill up, but if you want your ideal beach spot, arrive early. There are no sites with power, but there are some paved spots in Silver Springs. Call the Churchill Ranger Station at 775-577-2226 with questions.

“There are larger events within the area,” Gleich said, “but if you’re looking to not have to drive to Reno or Tahoe, you can do something local … You have to drive a mile maybe to go have a nice day celebrating, with all the time in the world to enjoy family time, especially with Tuesday being a workday.”

Rattlesnake Raceway will offer races the day of, before the fireworks at dusk.

Remember, personal fireworks are illegal in Churchill County including tribal land.

The parade is hosted by the Downtown Merchants Association.


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