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Fallon celebrates America’s birthday

By Steve Ranson Nevada News Group

Fallon’s annual Fourth of July festivities are giving the nation a red, white and blue salute in the Lahontan Valley on Saturday.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has limited events in many communities around the nation including those in Northern Nevada, Fallon is hosting an Independence Day parade beginning at 10 a.m., and the Lahontan Auto Racing Association will shoot off fireworks later that night at Rattlesnake Raceway east of Fallon.

The Farmers Market is also kicking off the summer on the Fourth of July from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

While the number of entries is on track to reach at least 50, David Ernst from Churchill County Parks and Recreation said he received a number of parade applications earlier this week.

Ernst, the department’s recreation supervisor, said many of the familiar entries have submitted their application forms. Among the parade entries are LARA, Fox Peak, Churchill County Search and Rescue, Naval Air Station Fallon, classic automobiles, mounted horse groups, service organizations, the city of Fallon, Churchill County, local businesses and individuals, churches, Fallon Youth Baseball and soccer, a handful of politicians and the Antique Auto Club of America.

This year’s theme, said Ernst, is “Spring Sports, Apple Pie, & the 4th of July.”

A change occurred last week with this year’s grand marshals. Ernst said the committee wants to honor the county’s health professionals, and leading the parade will be Dr. Wynter Phoenix and registered nurse Clare Behimer, both with Banner Churchill Community Hospital.

The parade’s staging area is at the Churchill County Middle School. From there, the parade moves north on Taylor Street to A Street and then heads east for one block. The procession moves south in front of the American Legion Hall to Williams Avenue and then east two more blocks to Maine Street. The final stop is at the middle school.

Ernst said the Downtown Merchants Association has assisted with the planning because of their prior work with Fourth of July activities. The Churchill County and Parks and Recreation Facebook pages will announce the winners later in the day from the following categories: Best Use of Theme, Best Youth, Best Civic/Non-Profit Group, Best Business Entry, Best Mounted Individual, Best Mounted Group, Best Farm Equipment, Best Ag, Best Automobile, Best Military, Most Patriotic, Presenters’ Choice and People’s Choice.

Ernst said the city and county are encouraging parade attendees to follow Gov. Steve Sisolak’s directives on wearing face coverings as appropriate for families and to practice social distancing. At parade check in, Ernst said he will talk to participants about the governor’s directives; however, he said those individuals passing out candy must also wear gloves.

Rattlesnake Raceway will offer auto racing before the fireworks at dusk. Personal fireworks, however, are illegal in Churchill County including tribal land.

Gates open at 2 p.m. Racing begins at 6 p.m. and features points pace No. 3 and Dwarfs.

“The market is going to alternate between Friday evenings and Saturday mornings,” said Kelli Kelly, executive director of the Fallon Food Hub. “We are at the same location as last year — the parking lot adjacent to The Twisted Branch at the corner of Taylor and Center streets.”

The Farmers Market and Amick Events are collaborating on presenting the annual produce event. In addition to attracting new vendors and producers in Northern Nevada, the Farmers Market is rotating its schedule this season with half the markets on Friday nights and the other half on Saturday mornings so more residents and visitors will have a chance to visit.

A weekly raffle is being held for those visiting the market. Everyone who visits will be given a free ticket to win that week’s basket.