City, county to ring in the Fourth with a parade |

City, county to ring in the Fourth with a parade

By Steve Ranson Nevada News Group
The city of Fallon and Churchill County are co-sponsoring this year’s Fourth of July parade.
LVN file photo

It’s also wait-and-see on the community’s other summer events

Fallon — It’s a go.

A scaled-down version of the annual Fourth of July parade will ring in the community’s first summer event of the pandemic era, Churchill County Manager Jim Barbee said at last week’s commission meeting.

June events except for auto racing were canceled including the annual Father’s Day weekend Concert in the Park, a traditional kickoff to the summer.

Barbee said the Downtown Merchants Association, which has worked with the Churchill County Parks and Recreation over the years to sponsor the parade, pulled out because of liability concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

“My office met with the city, and we felt like it’s important to have some type of activity in the community around Independence Day,” Barbee said. “We’ll have a skinnied down version of the Fourth of July parade.”

Barbee said the county and city will target social distancing, and since the parade is outdoors, they’ll also spread out the people on the city’s sidewalks.

“We will not do the family day in the park as we normally do,” he added.

Barbee said fireworks on the Fourth of July will go as planned. He also announced Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford and Commission Chairman Pete Olsen will serve as co-grand marshals.

David Ernst, the county’s recreation supervisor, said Rattlesnake Raceway will still have auto racing that night with the annual fireworks beginning at about 9:30 p.m. Ernst said the city of Fallon has provided money to the fireworks display because the Lahontan Auto Racing Association (LARA) couldn’t raise donations. For the first two months of racing, the track was part of the statewide shutdown of events due to COVID-19.

LARA said if the community still wants to help donate to the fireworks, Rattlesnake Raceway has opened a gofundme page.

Ernst said he will put parade entry applications on the Parks and Recreation website and Facebook page. He said the county is waiting on final approval from the Nevada Department of Transportation because the parade route follows sections of two designated U.S. highways.

Barbee said the 35th annual Fallon Cantaloupe Festival is still on for Aug. 28-30.

“They’ll have no carnival, but they’re trying to beef up the farmers market,” he said.

Robert Erquiaga, the city’s legal and administrative director, said everyone is hopeful the August events can move forward.

“The reunion is still on hold, waiting for a decision to be made … but don’t know when that will be,” said Sue McCormick, chairwoman of the all-community reunion, which is scheduled for the third weekend in August.

The decision hinges on when Gov. Steve Sisolak moves the state into its third phase, which would allow more events to occur and more people to attend. Currently, Phase 2 caps the number of people who can attend an event at 50.

Valerie Serpa, executive director of the Churchill Arts Council, said she’s hopeful the reunion and the Concert in the Park will take place.

“The ‘Reunioners’ want it to happen, we want it to happen, the city wants it to happen, as do the artists (who live in Seattle),” Serpa said. “Hopefully, things lighten up, so it can.”