Fallon committee works on local events
Dates and programs are beginning to firm up as the Mayors NV 150 Commission begins to formulate a schedule of events to celebrate the state’s sesquicentennial.
Nevada became the 36th state on Oct. 31, 1864, and this year, events will mark the state’s 150th birthday.
During the past four months, the Fallon committee co-chaired by Michon Mackedon and Valerie Serpa has taken an active role of sorting through numerous ideas in which Churchill County residents can participate or take an active role.
Scott Carey, a member of the State NV 150 Committee, discussed Nevada’s involvement in planning activities and lauded Fallon for its community-based events such as Spring Wings and Octane Fest. He said communities have been submitting events to be recognized as part of the NV 150 celebration.
“The interest is high in the state,” Carey said. “We have received 180 applications so far, and we’ll accept applications through the sesquicentennial year.”
Fallon has had a handful of activities approved to include the dedication in October of the Lariat Motel sign at the Churchill Arts Council, the annual Christmas tree lighting and New Year’s Eve activities. Carey said Nevadans and visitors can see the approved events on their website at http://www.nevada150.org.
Rick Gray, executive director of the Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority, said the completed events have been a success.
“The grandstands had almost 1,000 people in them,” he said of the New Year’s Eve fireworks show. “Overall, the show was very good.”
When the city first offered fireworks at the fairgrounds on New Year’s Eve more than a decade ago, Gray said about 100 people would attend.
In addition to approving and compiling a list of activities, Carey said the state’s numerous roadside historical markers are also receiving “a new look” as each marker receives a facelift.
One of the items that Carey mentioned focused on the state song, “Home Means Nevada.” He said the song has been arranged for an orchestra to play.
Fallon became the first community to establish a local commission to honor Nevada this year; however, other communities are planning sesquicentennial activities such as the city of Las Vegas holding a parade on Nevada Day and Ely conducting train rides as part of the celebration.
A major activity in the planning stages is a Fallon event to honor “Hometown Heroes.” Tim Mitchell, along with his wife Jenny, came up with the idea, and committee member Chris Hening has been helping to arrange the event scheduled for the week of June 16 and culminating with a fun run/walk and “fun day” on June 21.
The idea expressed by both Mitchell and Hening is to have Fallon’s heroes come home for residents to meet. Among those being considered include National Football League players Harvey Dahl and Josh Mauga, Olympian Aairk Wilson, world champion team roper Jade Corkill, and former college standouts Jennifer Hucke (volleyball, Stanford University), Paige Sauer (basketball, University of Connecticut) and Jodi Dolan (softball, Ohio State).
The event would also include servicemen and women from Naval Air Station Fallon.
“Our idea is to help athletes here,” Mitchell said, explaining that it costs a high-school athlete $90 to participate in a sport.
Susan McCormick outlined her plans for an all-school reunion that will include alumni, teachers, families and friends of Churchill County High School. She said the event will be held Aug. 16 at Oats Park, the same day the city has its second free concert of the summer.
“On Sunday we could have a community breakfast, and the museum could have a special program to round out the community activities,” McCormick said.
The all-class reunion, said McCormick, would be in addition to the separate high school class reunions scheduled for the summer.
Architect Frank Woodliff III explained his design ideas for a kiosk and time capsule.
“Every 50 years we would open the time capsule and add things to them,” he said. “In addition to the time capsule, we could have display boards to discuss the important events of this area.”
At this time, Woodliff doesn’t know where the time capsule would be stored although the museum suggested it could be housed there.
Woodliff also gave some information on a science fair that would include major participation from the county’s schools.
Woodliff, who said he still needs to discuss the fair with the school district’s superintendent, Sandra Sheldon, said he would like to see about 100 exhibitors.
“I’m very optimistic,” he said.
Late last year at a meeting, Hening presented plans for a project to build a small observatory. Gray said the city sent its grant application for the project, and by April, he said the city should hear a response.
Hening said if an observatory doesn’t materialize, then the project could rely on two portable telescopes.
Councilman Bob Erickson said preliminary plans could look at a site location, while other estimates could determine the overall costs to the project.
Education director Peggy Viney said the Churchill County Museum has been working on historically related events such as a radio project, cookbook, clothing exhibit and in-service program. Viney said Councilwoman Rachel Dahl is in the process of having the plaques updated for the city’s downtown walking tour.
Viney outline several of the museum’s program that will focus on 150 years of fashion and the importance of U.S. Highway 50 in the state’s development. A cookbook with recipes and information from 1924 is being planned with additional information on the women who submitted recipes.