Carson City summer events schedule falling victim to coronavirus

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Carson City’s summer event schedule is in flux.

Major events such as Carson City Off-Road and the Taste of Downtown as well as summer-long gatherings such as the Carson Farmers Market and the Brewery Arts Center’s Levitt AMP free concert series are either canceled, postponed or being reinvented for the times.

“The Carson City Fair Board met (recently) to discuss the status of this event, which is held the last weekend in July. Unfortunately, with the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus, we felt that we have no choice but to cancel this year’s event,” said Chelsy Simerson, Carson City Fair president.

The annual event held at Fuji Park features livestock contests, tractor races, food vendors and, starting last year, a popular demolition derby, which may still go on as planned.

“The biggest contributor to the Carson City Fair is the demolition derby sponsored by Simerson Events. The derby is holding out hope that it will be allowed to proceed. All of the proceeds from this event are donated back to help fund the Carson City Fair,” said Simerson.

She also said fair organizers are looking for ways to help youth with 4-H or Future Farmers of America sell the livestock they usually show at the event.

On May 5, tourism and city officials are meeting with Epic Rides organizers to determine the fate of this year’s off-road bike race scheduled June 26-28.

The race is one in a series of four events put on by Epic Rides. The first event, the Whiskey Off-Road in Prescott, Ariz., scheduled this week, is canceled, and the second in the series, the Grand Junction Off-Road in Grand Junction, Colo., set for May 29-31, has limited its registration due to the uncertain situation.

This year’s Carson City race is the fifth and final in the current contract the city has with Epic Rides. If it doesn’t take place, the contract could be extended to next year.

Advocates to End Domestic Violence, which puts on the Taste of Downtown as its main fundraiser, is looking to move the perennially sold-out event.

“We are working with the city to move the date to September,” said Lisa Lee, AEDV executive director. “The funds raised through the Taste is so instrumental to the shelter that it will be difficult if we lose that resource, especially on top of having to close the thrift shop.”

Lee said AEDV will follow any recommendations from the governor’s office as well public health officials before holding it.

“Everyone is going to be out of the habit of eating out so the Taste may be a great opportunity to re-introduce restaurants and hopefully help them to get back on their feet,” she said.

The BAC is considering several scenarios for hosting its free concert series in one form or another.

One possibility is to push the series, originally scheduled to start June 6, to July 11. The BAC has booked but not announced the musicians, and might move the first performers to the end and extend the dates if possible. Another idea, if the series has to be canceled, is to have a multi-band festival to coincide with Nevada Day in October. And the BAC may end up trying to extend all the musicians’ contracts to next year and be ready to go in 2021.

“We will be making a decision by June 1,” said Gina Lopez Hill, executive director, BAC. “If we are not able to do the concerts this year, we will be doing some safe and creative community events to keep Carson City engaged and enriched throughout the year.”

The one event going on as planned, albeit with new restrictions, is the Carson Farmers Market, held during the summer at the 3rd Street parking lot off Curry Street.

This year organizers are limiting vendors to farmers and ranchers, rather the usual mix of food booths and artisans, according to Breana Coons, market manager. Coons is also working with the city to determine if restaurants can exhibit, too.

All vendors will adhere to strict guidelines, including wearing gloves and masks, and organizers are still determining if there will be restrictions on shopping as well.

“I have not yet decided on the limit yet of customers and need to confirm with the city, but we are trying to make it a ‘get what you need and get out’ shopping environment,” said Coons.

The Carson Farmers Market is every Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 5 through Sept. 26.

Organizers of the Capital City Brewfest announced the June 20 event has been rescheduled for Aug. 29.

“We have talked with our brewers, vendors and sponsors, everyone is on board for the date change” said Jim Gray in a press release. “They are eager to get back in business, but also want to make sure to do it properly. We are also thrilled that our band this year, Mo’z Motley Blues is happy to make the change as well.”

The brewfest is put on by the Rotary Club of Carson City and The Fox Brewpub and benefits the Rotary Club’s youth leadership and scholarship programs.

Tickets, which are $30 in advance, will go on sale in July.

And last week the Mile High Band Association announced it is moving forward as planned with Jazz and Beyond, the music and art festival, scheduled later in the summer, Aug. 7-23.

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