Buzzards – and Dayton – have all the fun |

Buzzards – and Dayton – have all the fun

by Sally J. Taylor
Nevada Appeal file photoWendell Newman of Carson City rolls through town on a tractor during the 2003 Dayton Valley Days parade.

A community event with a cartoon buzzard as a mascot knows something about whimsy – and fun.

The theme for the 16th annual Dayton Valley Days in downtown Dayton on Saturday and Sunday is “Tribute to the Wildlife,” with the buzzard returning for his second year at the head of the fanfare.

“It’s a family-oriented event,” said Patricia Polish, event spokeswoman and member of the Lyon County Search and Rescue, Dayton Unit, which sponsors the event. “It’s been lots of fun. It keeps growing. The parade keeps growing.”

Dayton Valley Days is the main fund-raiser for the search-and-rescue unit, which took on the event four years ago. Last year, they adopted the buzzard as the event’s mascot. About 6,000 people participated during his first two-day reign.

This year, he gets a name with community help. The winning entry of the Name the Buzzard Contest will be announced midday Saturday. The prize includes a one-of-a-kind T-shirt with a picture of the buzzard and his new name.

Dayton Valley Days gets off to an early start Saturday with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. sponsored by the Kiwanis. The big parade begins at The Depot at 10 a.m.

Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., kids can build pinewood derby cars to race beginning Sunday at 8 a.m.

Both days feature wagon and electric train rides, Lyon County Sheriff’s Department officers providing Child Find materials, and United Blood Services taking blood donations.

Craft booths will line historic Pike Street both days. Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., a juried fine-arts show and sale will be on display.

Other Saturday events include foot races, Gold Creek Show ‘n’ Shine car show, silent auction, cowboy poetry, line-dance lessons and an evening barbecue and dance with music by Dick Polk, a local country and oldies musician.

Sunday features a pet parade, children’s games and live music by Kelly’s Lot at the Wildhorse Saloon.

The weekend concludes with the roadkill raffle drawing at 3 p.m. The grand prize for the raffle is a cooler filled with snacks and supplies for a lucky winner – that is, according to Polish, “if the buzzard doesn’t get to it first.”

So if you’re looking for some family fun this weekend, follow the buzzard east to Dayton.


Valley Days

‘Tribute to the Wildlife’

Saturday & Sunday

Schedule of events


7 a.m.

• Kiwanis pancake


• Walk/run at

Our Park

8 a.m.

• Vendor booths open

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

• Gold Creek Show ‘n’ Shine signup

at The Depot

• Parade signup

at The Depot

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Art show

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

• Silent auction

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

• Child Find

• National Guard

climbing wall

• Assembly of pinewood derby cars

9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Gold Creek Show ‘n’ Shine on Main Street

10 a.m.

• Parade begins

at The Depot

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

• KBUL live remote


10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

• Blood donations taken by United Blood Services

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Carson-Tahoe

Wellness Center

11:30 a.m. ’til closing

• Wagon and train rides


• Cloggers, ballet dancers, belly dancers and square dancers

2 – 4 p.m.

• Learn to line dance

3 – 5 p.m.

• Cowboy poet

5 – 9 p.m.

• Barbecue

6 – 9 p.m.

• Band and street dance

8 p.m.

• Fire dancers


8 a.m.

• Pinewood derby

track set-up

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Child Find

9 a.m.

• Pinewood derby

races begin

10 a.m.

• Pet parade

10 a.m. ’til closing

• Wagon train rides

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Carson-Tahoe

Wellness Center

11 a.m.

• Children’s games begin

11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

• Band, Kelly’s Lot, at the Wildhorse Saloon

11 a.m.-3 p.m.

• Blood donations taken by United Blood Services

1 p.m.

• Pinewood derby

races begin

3 p.m.

• Roadkill raffle drawing

Contact Sally Taylor at or 881-1210.