Teri's Notebook: Nevadans react to bill to restore Nevada Day to Oct. 31

The First Nevada Cavalry march in Saturday's Nevada Day parade.

The First Nevada Cavalry march in Saturday's Nevada Day parade.

Kit Campbell was a bit surprised when she first came to Reno.

“When I moved here in 1978, I thought it was strange that Nevada gave us Halloween as a holiday,” she said.
Growing up, I remember new kids in school having the same reaction, until we explained that Oct. 31 is the day Nevada became a state.

Not many states celebrate their admission days the way we do, and nowhere is that more evident than in Carson City, where we have an annual parade and other festivities to mark the occasion.

That’s why, in 1999 the Legislature voted to move the observance of Nevada Day to the last Friday of the month, giving the state a three-day weekend to celebrate.

However, a bill before the Legislature this year, would change the holiday back to the actual date of Oct. 31.

Courtney Warner pointed out that the three-day holiday allows participants from across the state to join the festivities.

“And as someone who gets to the parade at 6 a.m. and sits through the whole thing and tries to go to other events too, I am tired at the end of the day,” Warner explained. “Knowing I have Sunday to recover makes me power through it. If I had to work the next day and my kids had school, I’d have to scale back (maybe — probably not. I love Nevada Day whatever day it ends up being on).”

Marie Wagner Walter pointed out the potentially dangerous conflict of kids out on Halloween when revelers are partying for Nevada Day.

“As a mom I prefer the three-day weekend mainly for the safety of all the littles and parents out trick-or-treating on Halloween,” she said. “Yes, we know that Nevada Day is Oct. 31, and that date will never change, but observing it in the last weekend of October to me just makes sense.”

Others see the economic sense in it. Jim Phalan, owner of The Fox in downtown Carson City, prefers the three-day weekend as well.

“Keep it as is, do not change it,” he said. “This is a huge revenue weekend for us restauranteurs. By having it on the last Friday with the parade on Saturday, it allows for many tourists and non locals to visit. If the event is changed to the 31, then it could land on a random day, like a Tuesday, and no one will come. Don’t try and fix something that is already working.”

As you can imagine, people feel strongly about this subject, and I received many responses to this query — more
than I can fit in this column. So I will continue with the subject next week.

For now, I leave you with thoughts from Emerson Marcus, who says the choice is simple: Don’t choose.

“Three-day weekend. It gives us two days to celebrate Nevada: Nevada Day and Nevada Day observed,” he said. “Also, it’s so much more convenient having the parade on a Saturday with a guaranteed three-consecutive days off. This is a no-brainer. For me, it’s like someone arguing basketball was a better sport without the 3-point shot.”

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