Volunteers lift up Labor Day | NevadaAppeal.com

Volunteers lift up Labor Day

Aly Lawson
Labor Day weekend is here and includes a free parade and junior rodeo, fair attractions and a bottomless breakfast, courtesy of many volunteers and service groups.

Labor Day weekend is upon us with tradition and entertainment flowing strong.

From the weekend’s junior rodeo to the Monday breakfast and downtown parade, the celebratory festivities rest on the shoulders of civic and service groups as well as numerous volunteers.

There also will be a fair feature over at the Churchill County Fairgrounds, opening today at 4 p.m. with the return of the junior rodeo queen contest at 6 p.m.

“Since we’re not in conjunction with the cantaloupe festival, we’re doing our little booth-like fair aspect with games and more,” said Fallon Lions Club member Barbara Hertz, adding times are similar to the rodeo’s.

The Lions sponsor the rodeo as well as the parade.

The free-to-attend junior rodeo kicks off Saturday, spotlighting competitors ages 18 and younger, and will run from approximately 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday — with the top 10 event Monday at 11 a.m.

Team roping by Tommy Lee Livestock will happen Saturday after the rodeo as well as an “old time dance” at 8 p.m. in the Dry Gulch.

The rodeo has 136 contestants and 480 entries, Hertz said.

“It’s a big event this year,” she added, which includes a new, greased pig competition. “Whoever catches it gets to take it home.”

Do all you-can-eat pancakes and more sound good? The annual Kiwanis breakfast Labor Day morning will start the day off right and send attendees to the neighboring parade with a full stomach.

The nearly 60-year dining tradition attracts hundreds including visiting politicians and local dignitaries. Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Office also will be at the parade, which runs right by the breakfast site.

“It’s a damn good breakfast,” said Mike Mader, longtime Kiwanis member and one of the breakfast organizers. “We use the Krusteaz mix. We make it with whole milk and eggs. So these are really pancakes. These aren’t the pretend garbage or whatever; these are the real stuff.”

Mader said they’re planning for about 450 breakfast-goers, and the spread includes bottomless — or until they run out — pancakes, eggs and sausage as well as hot syrup and butter, coffee, milk and water.

“Come one, come all,” he encouraged. “Say hello.”

Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. ($7 for adults and $3.50 for ages 12 and under) on South Maine Street between Picture This! and E.H. Hursh insurance.

The also long-running annual Fallon Lions Club parade follows at 10 a.m. The parade is one of the oldest in Nevada and is one of the select few that are free.

“That’s another piece that we’re really proud of,” Hertz said.

This year’s theme is “celebrating all those who helped save our valley from the flood.” And fittingly the parade grand marshal is a representation of the many groups who aided in the flood mitigation effort including the county, city, farmers brigade, Truckee-Carson Irrigation District and many more.

“All of the people (who) were involved in the mitigation in one way or another,” Hertz said of who the parade will honor.

The procession is expected to have 60-80 entries and an estimated 600 participants this year, she said.

Awards will be given out in categories such as most creative, best use of theme, best mounted individual, best antique farm implement, best automobile entry, best civic group and the President’s Award.

Participants start lining up before 10 a.m. near Churchill County Middle School between Taylor and Virginia streets. The display will wind through downtown Fallon to end on Maine Street back near the school.

Hertz said the events are projects, not fundraisers, so the focus is successfully putting them on for the community and those involved, and anything left over goes toward the junior rodeo and related clubs.

“I depend on a lot of volunteers,” Mader said, adding Naval Air Station Fallon service members contribute.

Mader said the local service groups would love more members. The more members, the more they can do for the community, the better the community, he said. He encouraged many to think about joining a community service organization, from the Rotary and Elks to the Lions and Kiwanis, among others.

“Everybody’s pulling together,” Hertz said, adding many people from different groups are working together to ensure things are going as smoothly as they are. “They’re doing a great job.”