After all is said and done
Ricky Rhodes sat in her office for much of Nevada Day and waited.
After all, a child may have lost a parent or a parade participant might have had an emergency.
That has been Rhodes’ job for the past two months: Every day she sat in a 10-foot by 11-foot room above the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce office, prepared to encounter anything and willing to take on everything.
Rhodes, a Dayton resident, works for Nevada Day Inc., the group charged with organizing Nevada Day.
She took parade entries, organized the 1864 Ball and the Grand Marshall’s ball and the concession stands that lined the parade route.
Rhodes said she was fascinated by many of the entrants.
She was intrigued by the veteran who entered the parade. His great aunt was born on Nevada Day.
“They called her Nevada Walker,” she said.
Rhodes said that she is not a “very political sort,” but it was fun meeting Mayor Ray Masayko and talking to people in Sen. Richard Bryan’s office.
The logistics of organizing Nevada Day required measuring the height of utility lines to ensure a locomotive, the Dayton, could safely travel the parade route, and tracking down a harpist for the 1864 Ball.
“I’m a go-fer. I sit here and when they need things I either do it or go and get it,” she said. “It’s been a challenge and I loved it.”
The toughest challenge was the cutoff date for parade entrants.
Rhodes told a local group several times that the deadline was on a Monday. Group members were indignant when they showed up a day late and Rhodes denied the entry.
What followed was a petition from state and federal government officials; Rhodes stood her ground.
“We had to have a cutoff point,” she said. “Some people started out difficult, but if you’re friendly, they become undifficult.”
Aside from a deluge of last-minute calls from parade participants, asking for their entry and division numbers, Rhodes fielded calls from angry parents asking why Halloween was switched to Sunday.
“Now they were very indignant. It was messing up their plans,” she said. “It was hilarious.”
Many entrants said they didn’t want to be near noisy floats and others said they wanted to avoid animals, particularly horses.
Nevada Day was featured in several of Rhodes’ dreams recently.
“When I’ve gone to sleep at night, I dreamed of people calling me, asking where they are in the parade,” she said.