‘Small Town USA’: Fourth of July around the bend

The Marine Corps Reserve High Desert League honor guard opens the July 4 parade last year.

The Marine Corps Reserve High Desert League honor guard opens the July 4 parade last year.

Looking to start planning your Fourth? Look no further.

This year’s patriotic Tuesday, carrying the theme “Small Town USA” throughout, will commence with the annual parade, organized by the Downtown Merchant’s Association. The parade will start at 10 a.m. on Taylor and Virginia Streets. Applications to be part of the parade are due today along with any vendor or bed race applications.

That’s right, the bed races have returned! The races will start bustling on Maine Street at 11 a.m. after the parade concludes back at Churchill County Middle School (see the traditional route inside as well as the day’s event schedule).

Also the parade grand marshal is Pizza Barn’s Roger Diedrichsen (see related story).

The parade contest categories are as follows: Best Use of Theme, Most Creative, Best Youth Group, Best Civic Group, Best Business Entry, Best Mounted Individual, Best Mounted Group, Best Farm Equipment, Best Automobile and People’s Choice.

Applications can be dropped off at Openshaw Saddlery, the Chamber of Commerce or the Parks and Recreation office; bed race applications should be taken to Oppenshaw Saddlery, and vendor applications should be taken to Parks and Recreation.

“This year, we are very excited to have bed races hosted after the parade on Maine Street,” said Danny Gleich, Parks and Recreation supervisor. “We are also looking forward to seeing a more diverse set of vendors at the picnic at the park at the fairgrounds.”

The picnic in the park at the Churchill County Fairgrounds will begin after 11:30 a.m. when the gates open. Live music features include Larry and Dineen Little as well as Southbound Train from Carson City.

A wider variety of food is going to be featured this year as Gleich mentioned; this includes the Running Iron Café making smoked and barbecued items as well as vendors offering ice cream, funnel cakes, jerky, lemonade and many more treats.

Children’s attractions boast bounce houses as well as 4-H activities in the fairgrounds’ multi-purpose building. There will also be archery as well as swimming in the county pool next door.

Family games and crafts will include a coloring station, sand art, ladder ball, cupcake walk, sack races, stick horse races, Frisbee golf and life-size board games. There will also be a watermelon-eating contest for all ages (categories are 0-9, 10-15 and 16+).

The Tommy Lee Roping Show will be there and so will the local Northern Nevada Radio Control group, providing demonstrations in the multi-purpose building field area with a remote-control version of Octane Fest with mini truck pulls and the like.

Need a break?

Once you’re rested, head to the Rattlesnack Raceway for the fireworks show at dusk (about 9:15 p.m.).

For nature-seekers this weekend and beyond, 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 for Nevada residents. Sites are on a first-come, first-served basis. The parks do not 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. For more information, call the Churchill Ranger Station at 775-577-2226.

“We are always excited to host the Fourth of July activities in town,” Gleich added. “Seeing a bunch of different organizations and groups come together to create a fun, patriotic day for the community shows the passion we all have for this special day.”


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