Parade, picnics, fireworks light up the Fourth
While many Americans will head to the mountains or lake, others will pay their respects to the nation on Independence Day by attending parades, having picnics and watching fireworks.
The Churchill County community will be no different from others, said Natalie Parrish, executive secretary of the Fallon Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber and the Churchill County Parks and Recreation Department are sponsoring the third annual Independence Day parade, which begins at 10 a.m., through downtown Fallon today.
When Fallon lost its Fourth of July parade after 2010 because of the Silver State International Rodeo moving to Winnemucca, local government officials stepped into support the chamber of commerce and parks and recreation to have a parade.
As a result, the Independence Day parade resumed in 2012 with grand marshals representing the city, county and Naval Air Station Fallon.
“This year, the grand marshals are the county commissioners,” Parish said. “The first year we did this, we sat down with city and county and base and partnered together.”
She said the city served as grand marshal last year, and next year will be the air station’s turn.
Parrish said the thrill for her is seeing how the parade develops. She added the Fallon Lions Club helps her with line-ups and staging. Parrish said this year’s parade has about 50 entries.
“It’s exciting to see how it unfolds, how they line up and how it comes to fruition,” Parrish said of the parade.
According to Parrish, the parade will have horse entries, old cars, automobiles from Rattlesnake Raceway and the usual assortment of politicians, but not as many as Parrish wanted to enter.
The candidates are Sheriff Ben Trotter and his challenger Jay Horsley; and Jamie Dellera and Tasha Hessey, both running for recorder. Parrish said no candidates are running for the Churchill County School Board or the Mosquito and Weed Abatement Board.
Because of summer vacation, she said no local school bands will participate.
Parrish said the Country Fair organization has a large entry this year.
The parade will start from Taylor Street and travel north on Taylor to A Street, turning east onto A Street and traveling east to Ada Street. At Ada Street the parade will travel south and turn east onto Williams Avenue and later head south on Maine Street. The parade will end at Maine and Front streets.
After the parade, the parks and recreation department, the city of Fallon and the chamber of commerce are hosting a Picnic in the Park at the Churchill County Fairgrounds from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Jorge Guerrero, director of Parks and Recreation, said this event includes everything a real Fourth of July Celebration should have — music, games, activities for all ages and of course, food.
“We have seven food vendors and almost as many craft vendors,” said Danny Gleich, recreation-athletic supervisor.
Gleich said because of demand, one of the vendors will be offering barbecue food. Other food vendors include those selling Indian tacos, Filipino food, snow cones, fair food, pizza and more.
Guerrero said after the Picnic in the Park, people will be able to have some time to go home, relax and either go to the auto racing at Rattlesnake Raceway or the fireworks at dusk or both.
Every year, Guerrero said Rattlesnake Raceway raises funds to purchase the fireworks in its Independence Day tributes.
As for fireworks, law enforcement officials said they are illegal throughout Churchill County including tribal land.
Drought conditions and increasing daytime temperatures have prompted the Bureau of Land Management’s Carson City District Office, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Nevada Division of Forestry to implement fire restrictions on all lands under their jurisdiction in western Nevada.
Recreation activities are also restricted. Both boat ramps are closed at Lahontan Reservoir, and the beaches are about one-fourth mile away from water. BLM officials said the Fourth of July weekend is not as big as Memorial Day or Labor Day at Sand Mountain.