A pot of silver at the end of the rainbow?
Irish eyes were smiling on Virginia City Friday as celebrants put on green top hats and marched down C Street during the annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade.
The parade’s highlight was a leprechaun, or near facsimile, riding a camel and handing out Irish candy to children watching from wooden sidewalks. The costume was the creative endeavor of Fresno-resident Bill Robinson.
Children of the first-grade class of Hugh Gallagher Elementary School were also in tow, yelling and waving to moms and dads, faces painted green and gold with four-leaf clovers and pots of gold.
Bill Tierney, from Sparks, and Jack Sheets, from Reno, came up for the day to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and express their Irish heritage.
“I like everything Irish, except I don’t like the Guinness,” said Tierney. “There are only two types of people in the world: Those who are Irish and those that wish they were Irish.”
Tierney and Sheets said they were waiting for “the girls” to come into town to slow them down at the bars. “It’s just a little retirement fun,” Tierney laughed.
Cathylee James, her daughter Daisy, 5, and son Shyler, 7, got a reprieve from their workdays to scope out the action.
James’s kids were on their school lunch breaks.
“There are something like 13 parades here a year,” said James, who has lived in Virginia City for several years. “But we always have fun. It’s a chance for everybody to come out and say hi to their neighbors.”
Daisy and Shyler were equally excited about the parade. Both uttered exclamations of “neat” and “cool” as the the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Dayton Valley Post rolled by, or members or the Virginia City Gunslingers and Saloon Girls came over to hand them candy.
The club also put on a gunfight near the Delta Saloon. Member Larry Deming said the club, which is about five years old, puts on the shows to entertain, no matter what the occasion.
“We pay for all our own stuff and brandish all our own shells,” he said. The club is 35 members strong.
In Carson City, the Sagebrush Sons of Erin, a secret society, honored Bart and Terry Cantua of the Creekside Deli.
The Cantuas received their own blarney stone, complete with a plaque listing their names.
The rock was delivered sometime during the night by the Sons of Erin.
The tradition goes back to 1980 and expresses appreciation for those who have made contributions to the community.
Milt Manoukian was the first recipient of the stone in 1981.