Parks commission wants exploratory panel for putting state fair in Carson City |

Parks commission wants exploratory panel for putting state fair in Carson City

John Barrette

The opening salvo sounded Tuesday night in the bid to host a state fair in Carson City.

The Parks and Recreation Commission is urging the Board of Supervisors to appoint a committee that would explore creating such an event, perhaps in 2014 or 2015. The commission voted without dissent to make that recommendation during a meeting that featured testimony from a host of people.

Among them was Senior Judge Robey Willis, who has advocated the idea previously.

“Carson City is the place for the state fair,” he asserted, beginning the parade of people testifying. “I like fairs, and we don’t have one.”

Among those backing his play were Linda Ritter, interim executive director of the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau, and representatives of 4-H and Future Farmers of America in the area.

Louise Smith-Egstrom of the High Sierra Riders 4-H Club in Washoe Valley said children these days don’t realize where food comes from, a problem that should be rectified.

“They think it comes from the freezer,” she said. Others echoed her comment, some of them youngsters in the 4-H riding group of which she is assistant leader.

Mikayla Story, the president of Capitol FFA at Carson High School, showed up for a second time to support the concept. She was on hand in April to testify, but the commission couldn’t muster a quorum then because of missing members.

“We really need to spread that (agriculture) awareness,” she said.

Staff wording in a possible motion talked of exploring either a state fair or county fair and mentioned a location. However, the commission approved urged exploring only a state fair and didn’t indicate a site. Willis and Sean Lehmann, chairman of the commission, agreed the goal is to make it a state fair eventually, if not right away.

During her testimony, Ritter said her bureau now supports the concept, and she said a permanent bureau director might be selected next week.

The bureau supports events that promote visitors staying overnight in Carson City, she said.

The commission also reviewed a $6.5 million budget proposal for parks and recreation, and heard several presentations on small projects under way. The action on the fair proposal took about an hour and dominated the evening.