Cookin’ up fun, history at the 23rd annual Carson City Rendezvous |

Cookin’ up fun, history at the 23rd annual Carson City Rendezvous

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Stagecoach operator Gary Teel talks about the Rendezvous at Mills Park this weekend. The free event includes a mountain man encampment, gunfighters, a Dutch oven cook-off and entertainment.

Attending the 23rd annual Carson City Rendezvous at Mills Park will be anyone’s ticket to see how folks lived in the Old West.

The mountain man encampment, American Indian village, gunfighters, the Pony Express, Civil War re-enactments, Western arts and crafts, more food than you can shake a willow branch at, and some of the best music this side of the Rocky Mountains will offer the sounds, smells and visual stimulation any history buff could ask for. Attendance is free for this annual event that helps bring the 1800s to life for attendees in 2006.

Returning to the Rendezvous is the Old Time Fiddle Contest. Organized by Randy Pollard, of Minden, a past national champion, participants range in age from 4 to well into their senior years. The contest will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Pony Express Pavilion. After winners in each division are named, David John and the Comstock Cowboys perform on the main stage at 7 p.m. Friday’s opening concert is at 7 p.m. with The Back Forty Band.

To experience the nostalgia of transportation of the Old West, a must-do are the stagecoach rides offered by Teels Stageline of Silver Springs. For $5, you will experience first-hand how the ladies and gents traveled from place to place.

“This is an opportunity for anyone to ride in a stagecoach,” said Gary Teel, owner of the full-size replica of a Concord stagecoach drawn by four horses. “There’s not many of them around.”

The humorous, crusty, suspender-wearing character is truly a blast from the era itself. Teel, along with his wife, Nancy, encourage families to take in the casual journey around the park.

“Bring the kids out here and let’s go for a ride,” Teel added. “I’ll run ‘er wide open.”

A Dutch oven cook-off will also be held. Competing in the cook-off and selling his barbecue beef sandwiches is Don Alt, of Silver Springs. Alt will be making his sandwiches in a restored 1880 chuck wagon.

“The menu is established by the judges,” Alt said of the competition. “It usually consists of beans, bread and meat.

“I’ve done three cook-offs before in Texas. I won first place twice in a row, the third year I tied for first. That’s after they found out I was from Nevada.”

Continuous entertainment will be provided on the main stage all weekend long. Acts include Sourdough Slim, Karen Quest performing cowgirl tricks, Wild Sage, Latin Energy Dancers and the Sage Spirit Dancers.

Mountain men will demonstrate tomahawk and knife throwing, fire starting and loading and shooting muzzleloaders. Gunfighter ladies will present a Victorian fashion show Saturday afternoon; an Indian village features the Sage Spirit Dancers and the Nevada Gunfighters will compete with teams from central California.

Maxine Nietz, of the Arlington Group, said vendors are still calling seeking space for the event.

“We’ve got 112 food and craft vendors,” Nietz said. “We’ve got Indian tacos, Mexican food, Tai food, burgers and dogs, sausages, margaritas, pizza, kettle corn, smoothies, lemonade, homemade root beer and corn on the cob.

“I can’t shoehorn another vendor into the park.”

A second beer booth has been added, manned by volunteers for the event.

Rendezvous hours are noon-9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. A complete schedule of events can be found at or, or call 687-7410 or 887-1294.

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.

If you go

WHAT: 23rd annual Carson City Rendezvous

WHEN: Friday through Sunday

WHERE: Mills Park

COST: All events free

CALL: 687-7410 or 887-1294



Friday: Noon-9 p.m.; 7 p.m. Back Forty Band performs on Main Stage

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Old Time Fiddle Contest 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Pony Express Pavilion; David John and the Comstock Cowboys perform at 7 p.m. on Main Stage

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; church service at 10 a.m. on Main Stage

Other entertainment: Sourdough Slim, Karen Quest performs cowgirl tricks, Wild Sage, Latin Energy Dancers and the Sage Spirit Dancers